Detroit woman charged with harboring leader of Victory Inn drug, sex ring
(WJBK) - A fugitive's girlfriend charged with a drug and sex ring - allegedly run at the notorious Victory Inn on Michigan Avenue in Detroit.
Federal agents arrested Lena Sled from Detroit on Friday, she's charged with concealing a person from arrest and laundering of money.
The alleged mastermind behind the drug and sex trafficking ring at Victory Inn, Darrick Bell, is still on the run but federal agents nabbed an important suspect that could help them find him.
And now Lena Sled is in U.S. Marshals custody. The 61-year-old woman was romantically involved with Bell, the suspected drug and human trafficking ringleader at Victory Inn.
"The allegation is that she is a key defendant in the case," said Khaalid Walls, ICE. "Our investigation is ongoing and we believe she might be able to provide a critical next step in the case."
According to a criminal complaint, Sled has known Bell for more than 20 years, kept his financial records and even shared bank accounts and credit cards with him.
She misled U.S. Marshals about being in contact with Bell, but later admitted when the feds raided her home that he gave her a flip phone to keep in contact with him.
And that he made frequent visits to her home while on the run from U.S. Marshals for allegedly selling drugs and pimping out heroin-addicted women.
"I believe this is the largest human trafficking related investigation for our agency in the city - bar none," said Walls.
And according to a recent study conducted by Loyola University -- one and five homeless teens in Detroit have been victims of human trafficking.
"Something else people will find surprising is that it's not just our young women, it's our young men as well," said Cynthia Adams.
Adams helps run Covenant House Michigan, a non-profit that helps homeless and at risk youth
"So when they come to us, they come with a lot of trauma attached," Adams said. "So in order to survive they've done some things on the street."
"This is a widespread issue and one thing we like to say is the public as a critical part in this," Walls said. "If they see something suspicious. We certainly want them to come forward with information."