UPDATE: Marquette County sting operation targets human trafficking; new task force created

According to Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson, there is a new team to combat human trafficking in Upper Michigan, known as the “U.P. Human Oppression Strike Team.”
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 10:10 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2021 at 8:32 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: The Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office Friday announced the completion a sting operation to combat human trafficking and child prostitution.

In a press release Friday, the prosecutor’s office said it was a joint undercover operation involving the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, the Marquette Police Department, the Michigan State Police, the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team, and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson, Upper Michigan law enforcement reached out to him, and he gave the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team “GHOST playbook” as a plan of attack for trafficking operations. He says, with those plans compiled virtually, the Upper Michigan task force “put together the U.P. Human Oppression Strike Team.”

In his Facebook live, Sheriff Swanson referred to the plan as “Operation Northern Exposure” and said the newly formed team arrested “six predators...between the ages of 32 and 64 years old.” He said four of those arrested, “came to have sex with an underage girl.”

“Of those four I mentioned, they themselves had daughters between the ages of 12 and 15,” Sheriff Swanson said.

“Predators have no boundaries. We must protect those vulnerable people. We must be able to join together, like they did [in the U.P.],” Sheriff Swanson continued.

Sheriff Swanson thanked Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), and said they helped fund the sting in the Upper Peninsula. Watch the full Facebook live update from Sheriff Swanson below.

Few other details have been released by U.P. law enforcement, but the Marquette County Prosecutor’s office is calling the sting, “an astounding success.”

More information will be released at a press conference this week.

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