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19 Children Rescued From Sex Traffickers in Detroit

Operation Cross County IX, an annual nationwide law enforcement action aimed to curb underage sex trafficking recovered 149 sexually exploited children across the country and arresting more than150 pimps and their associates. The youngest victim rescued during the week-long sting was 12 years old.

ABC news reported Denver and Detroit topped the list of 135 cities impacted by the sting with 20 children rescued from Denver and 19 children rescued from Detroit.

The FBI's Innocence Loss program, in partnership with more than 500 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), set up sting operations across the country in hotels, casinos, truck stops, and other areas frequented by pimps over the course of one week.

The FBI's Innocence Lost program has resulted in the identification and recovery of approximately 4,800 sexually exploited children since 2003. Prosecutors have obtained more than 2,000 convictions of pimps and others associated with these trafficking crimes, where at least 15 cases have resulted in life sentences.

"Our mission is to protect the American people—especially our children—from harm," FBI Director James Comey said in a statement posted on the FBI's website." When kids are treated as a commodity in seedy hotels and on dark roadsides, we must rescue them from their nightmare and severely punish those responsible for that horror. We simply must continue to work with our partners to end the scourge of sex trafficking in our country."

Among other cities reporting high numbers of children rescued from sex trafficking during Operation Cross County IX were Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Houston.

"Human trafficking is a monstrous and devastating crime that steals lives and degrades our nation," shared Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the FBI's website. "As a result of the FBI's outstanding coordination and exemplary efforts alongside state and local partners during Operation Cross Country, more children will sleep safely tonight, and more wrongdoers will face the judgment of our criminal justice system."

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