DETROIT (WJBK) – A nationwide sex trafficking sting resulted in the rescue of 19 children right here in metro Detroit. Also as part of the sting, 12 pimps in the area were apprehended.
Detroit had the second highest number of children rescued in the sting, called Operation Cross Country IX. The sting took place in 135 cities. In all, the FBI says 149 sexually exploited children were rescued and 150 pimps were arrested.
More than 500 law enforcement officials took part in the sting operations. They took place in hotels, casinos, truck stops, and other areas frequented by pimps, prostitutes and their customers.
The FBI adds that the youngest victim recovered was 12 years old. It did not elaborate which city the 12-year-old is from.
“The Michigan State Police continue to support the efforts to combat human trafficking and rescue victims from the manipulation and constraints of suspects who take advantage of vulnerable children and adults in our community. Our department is committed to working with our law enforcement partners enforcing human trafficking laws and arresting the suspects who facilitate these horrific acts,” MSP Captain Monica Yesh said in a news release.
“Our office is pleased with the success of the operation in metro Detroit, but we, along with all of our law enforcement partners, do not stop here. This is all part of an ongoing effort to continue to free victims of human trafficking, and arrest the individuals that commit these crimes,” FBI – Detroit Division Special Agent in Charge, David P. Gelios added.
The takedown involved efforts of the FBI, state and local authorities.