Leader in Victory Inn trafficking ring arrested after nearly 3-year long manhunt

Authorities say the alleged leader of a large sex- and drug-trafficking operation that was based in Detroit has been arrested following a 2 1/2-year search.

Back in January 2017 authorities raided the now-demolished Victory Inn in Detroit, saying it was a haven for sex trafficking and drugs. Authorities said the man behind it all was 50-year-old Darrick Bell, and that he vanished before authorities broke up the operation. 

Bell and five other defendants were charged in a 9-count indictment with trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion collection and conspiracy, among other charges. 

Nearly 200 law enforcement personnel stormed the Victory Inn in one of the largest human trafficking enforcement operations in the city's history. Authorities say the sophisticated criminal organization was using nearly all the rooms at the motel. 

Bell has been wanted ever since, and in 2018 reward money increased to $16,000 for information leading to his arrest. 

Bell, who also went by the nicknames Tone and Ghost, is accused of dealing drugs, pimping out women and keeping them high on heroin while forcing them into the sex trade against their will.

But on Wednesday Bell was finally found and arrested that night at the Econo Lodge in Monroe, Mich. We're told he was found with nearly $12,000 and suspected cocaine.

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Authorities also arrested a female defendant who is facing drug charges.

Back in the spring of 2017, another woman was also charged in connection with the case. A woman who was Bell's alleged girlfriend was charged with concealing Bell from arrest, and laundering of money. 

It's not known yet when Bell is due in court or exactly what charges he'll be facing.