Four arrested in suspected human trafficking bust; drugs and guns seized

One day after Michigan State Police announced a large-scale suspected human trafficking bust involving 18 people, four men were arrested for sex trafficking and drug sales.

The human trafficking operation spanned across three houses in Detroit according to police. First Lt. Mike Shaw says eight other people were detained, interviewed and found to be uninvolved.

"These women were beaten, held against their will, made to take narcotics," Shaw said. "Made to prostitute themselves by these pimps out there."

Six victims were interviewed, with one needing medical assistance. Twelve others were also interviewed - afterward, the four suspects were arrested. Eight other people were released. 

Items seized during the investigation included cocaine, cell phones and ammunition. Investigators also found a 105mm projectile.

"The MSP bomb squad was contacted and determined the projectile was inert and was "secured for destruction," said the Second District in a post.

Shaew says the conditions the victims were forced to live in, were awful.

Photo screenshot from MSP 2nd District on X

"It was very cluttered, a lot of dirt in there," Shaw said. "Lots of rooms in there with just blown up mattresses, stuff like that. Leftover food, containers in the sink. Places you don’t want to live, let alone being subjected like that by another human being."

Shaw says this suspected human trafficking case is tied to the opioid epidemic, where people with addictions are taken advantage of.

He says that initial tip-off from the traffic stop, was incredibly important.

While investigating a stolen vehicle report in the Charter Township of Royal Oak last week, Metro North Post troopers "noticed something wasn't quite right."

"We wouldn’t have been able to solve this crime and these ladies would’ve been in the same position today, if it weren’t for somebody speaking up," Shaw said.

MSP worked with the Second District Special Investigation Traffic Abduction Group (TAG) to launch an investigation.

Photo from MSP 2nd District on X

Photo from MSP 2nd District on X

"As with most crimes that happen in our community, we depend on the public to be our eyes and ears." said Shaw. If you know of or have information of human trafficking, please reach out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888."