The FBI has arrested 16 people connected to a sex trafficking operation during a sting at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
FBI and local police officers from a dozen agencies targeted human sex traffickers during the show, a time which the FBI say they find a 150 percent increase in people posting online solicitation messages on escort websites.
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CBS Detroit reports:
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FBI Detroit spokesman Tim Wiley told WWJ’s Zahra Huber that 16 people were arrested, four pimps were identified and two children were recovered.
“There was a large influx of people coming into our area and so with that, we do see a trend of increased human trafficking that takes place,” Wiley said.
Wiley says there were 14 potential victims identified through the sting.
Federal agents say many of the females being trafficked during the auto show were minors.
Police also identified five adult victims, while two young teens were recovered from sex trafficking rings.
Wiley says an increase in opioid abuse plays a big role in human trafficking.
“Some of those pimps in the past may have had to use a lot of force or coercion to get someone to get involved in this human trafficking,” Wiley said.
“Now — not so much — it might just be a drug addition. It might be something that was involved more in an online situation as well with all of the sexstortion and different types of opportunities people take.”