Reporting Sandra McNeill
DETROIT (WWJ) – Nearly 60 people have been arrested in metro Detroit —18 of them pimps — as part of a nationwide crackdown on child prostitution.
FBI Detroit spokesman Simon Shayket says 10 minors were rescued during “Operation Cross Country” over the weekend.
“We are rescuing these young girls from a very dangerous environment when they’re being made to work in a very risky and unsafe atmosphere where they’re put at risk and they’re in great danger,” Shayket told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil.
The arrests took place in the city of Detroit and numerous suburbs, including Farmington, Roseville, Livonia and Grand Blanc.
Some of the girls were as young as 13 years old.
How did they get involved in prostitution? Shayket said, often, they’re lured in, “Through the promise of money or there’s addiction involved in some cases.”
“So there can be many ways that something like this gets started,” Shayket said. “But we are concerned with and committed to removing them from these kinds of dangerous situations.”
Nearly $60,000 and numerous vehicles were also seized
This is the 7th year for the nationwide sting that this year resulted in 150 arrests and 105 children taken in.
Detroit area ranked number two out of 76 cities for the most arrests.
Said Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw, in a statement: “The Michigan State Police continues to work with our Federal and Local law enforcement partners to protect children from human trafficking not only in the state of Michigan but across the country. The Michigan State Police and the SEMCAC Task Force are committed to the prosecution of those who victimize our children for their own gain. The loss of innocence of just one child will not be tolerated.”
The names of those arrested were not immediately released.