NEW YORK, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Sixteen children, some as young as 13, were rescued by police in the New York City area in connection with sex trafficking associated with Super Bowl tourism.
Federal and local law enforcement offices announced they had already or planned to charge up to 45 people for the alleged prostitution activities, an increasingly common occurrence around major events such as the Super Bowl that took place in neighboring northern New Jersey, and political conventions, officials said.
Fox News reported Tuesday the rescued children range in age from 13 to 17 and some had been reported missing by their families. Others are foreign nationals caught up in a sex trafficking underworld where young girls are kidnapped and forced into prostitution.
The FBI, NYPD and police in Westchester County coordinated the sting over a six-month period leading up to Sunday's game, CNN said.
Police said they're working to reunite the children with their families.
"High-profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for child prostitution criminal enterprises," Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, said in a statement. "The FBI and our partners remain committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and putting those who try to profit from this type of criminal activity behind bars."