(WJBK) - An opioid and human trafficking ring was busted in two counties, now four people are charged with dozens of felonies.
According to attorney general's office, the four involved in the drugs and human trafficking ring would use hotels in Southfield to run the illegal operation. But the family of the supposed ring leader Melvin Niblett, said he wasn't living like a crime boss.
His mom says she was constantly paying for the hotel rooms and food, saying her son didn't have any money of his own.
The four - Melvin Niblett, Corey Cooper, Maurice Rushton and Jasmin McGinnis face multiple felonies in connection with a drug and prostitution ring in Oakland County.
"It was very organized, profiting off those pain and suffering of the women and those that they peddle the drugs to, to make a cash profit for themselves," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
The alleged operation emerged on the law enforcement's radar back in October of 2016.
Niblitt, 38, from Southfield, is said to be the mastermind. He now faces 10 felonies for selling more than 1,000 grams of cocaine, heroin and other drugs. He's also accused of using those drugs to create sex slaves which he would sell out of various hotels in Southfield
"Narcotics are used as a tool to entrap and to utilize as a weapon against the women that are trapped in the situation," Bouchard said.
But the Niblett family says Melvin is no angel, but he's not a criminal mastermind either.
"If you are supposed to be a pimp or whatever they say you are, why don't you have any money," said Gloria Niblett, the suspect's mother.
They are concerned that he and his girlfriend and co-defendant Jasmine are being used as scapegoats in all of this and being labeled as the people responsible for organized crime.
"They are clearly trying to railroad my son," Gloria said. "They are trying to get him. All these charges carry 15, 20 years and for what, because he met some girl. They want to put everything on him when they were already doing this."
Police say this crime is highly organized and consider this work highly important.
"You really want to go deep enough so it sticks," Bouchard said. "And sticks with a thud on these folks and sends a message not only to them but to anyone else who wants to get into this business."
A source in the attorney general's office says this operation was bigger than just these four people arrested. But investigators say they were at the top of the criminal food chain in this instance.
As for the victims, the women involved who were allegedly trafficked, the attorney general's office says they are working to relocate these women and get them some help to treat their addiction.
Back in October a tip was received from someone who noticed suspicious behavior at one of the Southfield hotels, and notified police which helped spark the investigation.