UPDATE 8/1/23 6:40 p.m.
Four were people arrested in a third Northern Michigan human trafficking sting within one week.
The two other operations happened in Presque Isle County and the other in Charlevoix county.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s office said they arrested four people who tried to meet up with an underage girl last Friday.
The Sheriff’s office isn’t saying much about their investigation. Sheriff Mark Cool said they don’t want to give away too much about how the suspects were identified in this case, but they do confirm that four people are facing charges for accosting a minor for immoral purposes and using a computer to commit a crime.
“Through this operation, the team was able to arrest four individuals. These four individuals came to Evart to have sexual relations with a minor less than 15-years-old,” said Cool.
The suspects, Charles Staffen from Howard City, Corey Brennan from Allegan, Daniel Davidson from Six Lakes, and another person from Twin Lakes, whose name has not yet been released pending arraignment, were arrested and charged with the help of several different law enforcement agencies.
Michigan State Police said it’s a common occurance everywhere, including Michigan.
Lt. Derrick Carroll, the public information officer for Michigan State Police said they have several agencies dedicated to human trafficking.
“We have seven officers, computer crime unit officers throughout the state from Michigan State Police and needless to say, they’re very swamped with all the tips and information in cases, their work,” said Caroll.
Carroll said they get more than 2,000 tips a month.
“We’re getting a lot of tips from out of state, whether they be victims that are out of state with perpetrators in Michigan or vice versa. So, we’re working closely with our federal partners, reaching across state lines to find these,” said Carroll.
Carroll said it’s become easy for a predator to prey on people online.
“They can infiltrate chat rooms for young people, online gaming, you know, popular apps where kids are using. they can go on there and pose as a different person or pose as themselves and get into these kids’ rooms,” said Carroll.
Carroll said people need to remain vigilant against online predators.
“We always say stranger danger outside, but really the stranger is in the home now because it’s online,” said Carroll.
For more information about the resources Michigan State Police has about human trafficking, please click here.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said they’re looking to bring more charges in connection with this case.
7/31/23 8:43 p.m.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said that four people have been arrested after a human trafficking sting in Osceola County.
According to the sheriff’s office, they allegedly came to Evart last Friday night to have sex with a minor under 15-years-old.
The men arrested were Charles Staffen from Howard City, Corey Brennan from Allegan, Daniel Davidson from Six Lakes and another person from Twin Lakes who’s name has not yet been released.
The sherrif’s office has arrested them on charges of Accosting a Minor for Immoral Purposes and Using a Computer to Commit a Crime. Deputies say that more charges may be filed.