MSP: Northern Michigan prostitution arrests a state-wide initiative

TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan State Police conducted a months-long prostitution operation which began in January 2018 and wrapped up in September. The operation was just one part of a larger, state-wide MSP initiative to combat Human Trafficking.

Many police agencies and specialized teams took part in the initiative, including northern Michigan’s Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT).

The operation was highly successful. A total of 35 men were arrested for soliciting prostitution and related crimes during the first two phases of the operation. Their names and photographs were subsequently released to the public. The third and final phase in September only netted two arrests.

Prostitution is illegal for good reason, MSP stated in a press release. Many prostitutes are addicted to opioids and find themselves in the kind of desperate situation that leads to human trafficking.

“We in law-enforcement have an obligation to support our communities’ efforts to battle opioid addiction and human trafficking, and we will continue to vigorously investigate criminal action that supports those initiatives,” MSP stated.

While some of the charges resulting from these cases may be reduced as they’re adjudicated, the negative publicity the arrestees experience has its own deterring effect. People who consider involving themselves in any level of prostitution or human trafficking need to know the police take these issues seriously, and will continue taking proactive steps to prosecute these crimes.

“We encourage our community members to report any suspicious activity potentially related to prostitution, human trafficking, opioid abuse, or any other crime to their local MSP post,” officials stated.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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