MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (FOX 2) - A man accused of human trafficking was arrested at a Madison Heights motel and police said he forced at least two women into prostitution. Police said this is part of a growing problem.
Donald Beauchamp, 31, was arrested for human trafficking on Monday at the Rodeway Inn on Stephenson Highway in Madison Heights. Authorities say Beauchamp was holding two women in the early 20s at the motel and forcing them into prostitution.
The victims, a 21-year-old from black woman River Rouge and a 23-year-old white woman from Novi, were both recovered and have been given resources they need. Police did not release further information about them.
Madison Heights Police Chief Corey Haines said the women are vulnerable and were taken advanvantage of by Beauchamp, who used tactics known by human traffickers to keep the women.
"They're not allowed to have cell phones, they're taken to rooms, threatrened with assault," Haines said. "It knows no borders and it crosses into many different cities; places where you wouldn't think it would occur."
Beauchamp has been charged with four felonies: prostitution/pandering (a 20-year felony), two counts of human trafficking/forced labor (each are 10-year felonies), and prostitution/keeping house of (a 5-year felony).
Beauchamp has a previous conviction of assult with intent and unlawful imprisonment. He was released in December after served four years in prison.
This is the second such bust in this area in two months. In March, James Yun, a 26-year-old Korean man, was charged with trafficking a 33-year-old woman from China for sex trafficking at the Days Inn directly behind the Rodeway Inn.
A recently formed Madison Heights Police task force made both busts and Haines said their department is working with hotel management. Some hotels are now offering training for staff to spot traffickers and victims.
"We are having more conversations. We've had other hotel managers and corporate (leaders) into the police station to talk about these issues," Haines said.
A big reason human traffickers are picking Madison Heights is the prime proximity to two major highways: I-75 and I-696.
"It's an easy on, easy off and they don't have to spend a lot of time in the city. They can be right back on the freeway and go," Haines said.
The victims are advertised and disguised as escort sites and findable in a simple online search.
Haines said these women are safe bu tknows there are more that need their help.
"Thankfully, in this case, we were able to get some of these women help and get them the services they need and treat them as the victims they are," Haines said.
If you know someone who may be a victim or suspect in human trafficking, help is available. Call 1-888-373-7888 or test 'HELP' or 'INFO' to 233733.