DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A child sex trafficking sting involving numerous state and local agencies has resulted in the recovery of 19 victims and the arrest of 12 suspects in the Detroit area.

The initiative was part of a national program spearheaded by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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“There are 56 across the country – 63 of them participated in this initiative and recovered 149 victims nationwide, so when you compare those numbers with Detroit,”  said FBI spokesperson Jill Washburn. “We actually did really, really well, we were actually one of the highest performing states.

“It is surprising that it is still going on – that we are continuing to talk about human trafficking – that we continue to see young people, particularly young women falling into these situations – and being victimized in this way. It’s not a battle that has been won by any means.”

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Hundreds of law enforcement officials took part in the sting, which included raids on hotels and casinos.

The youngest victim was believed to be only 12 years old.

The FBI Detroit Field Office worked with members of the Southeast Michigan Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes the Michigan State Police, the Washtenaw County Sheriff and police departments in Detroit, Southfield, Livonia, Dearborn and Roseville. Those agencies were assisted by the Michigan Department of Corrections, the Romulus Police Department and sheriffs in Wayne, Kent, Macomb and Ottawa counties.

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