UPDATE: Court dates set for Upper Michigan men arrested on child sex crimes

All five men are facing charges in Marquette County District Court.
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 2:56 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE, March 30, 12:50 p.m.

Court dates have been set for the five men arrested after an investigation into sexual crimes against children in Marquette:

  • Robert Jay Miller- Probable Cause Conference, April 14
  • Ameire Rackem Stevens: Arraignment, April 8
  • Alan Brian Schwalbach: Probable Cause Conference, April 14. Prelim, April 20
  • Keith David Johnson: Probable Cause Conference, April 14. Prelim, April 20
  • Chad Michael Anderson: Probable Cause Conference, April 14. Prelim, April 20.

All five men are facing charges in Marquette County District Court.

TV6 & FOX UP will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Five men are being charged with sexual crimes against children in Marquette. They were arrested last week, thanks to a collaborative effort between several law enforcement agencies.

On March 18, a sting operation was conducted to identify and bring in 42-year-old Robert Jay Miller, 48-year-old Ameire Rackem Stevens, 64-year-old Alan Brian Schwalbach, 50-year-old Keith David Johnson, and 32-year-old Chad Michael Anderson. Each man is being charged with Child Sexually Abusive Activity, Use of a Computer to Commit Child Sexually Abusive Activity, Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, and Use of a Computer to Commit Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes.

Marquette County law enforcement worked with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force (UPHTTF).

“The task force is a nonprofit organization to work alongside those that enforce the law against human trafficking violations here in the state,” said Stephanie Krieger, president of the UPHTTF.

Krieger says if it weren’t for the efforts of all law enforcement agencies involved, the sting wouldn’t have been a success.

According to Marquette County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Andy Griffin, the sting was a decoy-style operation. He says no children were involved.

“This operation went very well,” Griffin said. “Law enforcement officers worked very well together, and they had a great amount of success with their investigation.”

Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese says he hopes the operation will deter any potential offenders from committing sexual crimes against children.

“It’s proactive,” said Wiese. “It helps protect other children, and it sends a message to anyone who might want to participate in this type of activity that law enforcement will be watching.”

According to Griffin, a similar operation took place in Menominee County. That operation resulted in the arrest of 33-year-old Jeremy Bertrand of Pound, Wisconsin. He is being charged with Child Sexually Abusive Activity, Using a Computer to Commit Felony, and Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes.

The Michigan State Police have a human trafficking tip line. The number is 1-888-874-8123.

Facing charges in Menominee County, following a similar March 19 operation, is 33-year-old Jeremy Lee Bertrand, of Pound, Wisconsin. His charges are Child Sexually Abusive Activity, Using a Computer to Commit a Felony and Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes.

Details on all the charges are below. To view more from this press conference, check out the video below.

Mugshots, top to bottom, left to right for Marquette County cases: Robert Jay Miller, Ameire...
Mugshots, top to bottom, left to right for Marquette County cases: Robert Jay Miller, Ameire Rackem Stevens, Alan Brian Schwalbach, Keith David Johnson, and Chad Michael Anderson. The sixth mugshot, bottom right, is for the Menominee County case, Jeremy Bertrand.(Marquette County Jail/Menominee County Jail)

ORIGINAL STORY: On March 18, 2021, a joint sting operation was conducted by members of Marquette County law enforcement in collaboration with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, with a focus on identifying and arresting suspected consumers of child sex crimes.

At the conclusion of the operation, five suspects had been taken into custody, and face charges in Marquette County. They are:

  • Robert Jay Miller, age 42, of Negaunee
  • Ameire Rackem Stevens, age 48, of Skandia
  • Alan Brian Schwalbach, age 64, of Vulcan
  • Keith David Johnson, age 50, of Au Train
  • Chad Michael Anderson, age 32, of Gwinn

Each of the five suspects were subsequently charged by the Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with the following four offenses:

  1. Child Sexually Abusive Activity, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or $100,000. Conviction of this offense also carries requirements to register as a sex offender under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act.
  2. Use of a Computer to Commit Child Sexually Abusive Activity, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or $20,000. This charge carries with it the possibility of a consecutive sentence that is within the discretion of the sentencing court.
  3. Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, a felony with a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison and/or $4,000. Conviction of this offense also carries requirements to register as a sex offender under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act.
  4. Use of a Computer to Commit Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, a felony with a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison and/or $5,000. This charge carries with it the possibility of a consecutive sentence that is within the discretion of the sentencing court.

The Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office reminds the public that these charges are only allegations, and all suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Facing charges in Menominee County, following a March 19 operation, is 33-year-old Jeremy Lee Bertrand, of Pound, Wisconsin. His charges are:

  1. Child Sexually Abusive Activity, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or $100,000
  2. Using a Computer to Commit a Felony, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison
  3. Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, a felony with a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison and/or $4,000

Menominee County Prosecutor, Jeffrey Rogg, says Bertrand has a probable cause conference at 4:00 p.m. April 5; a preliminary exam at 8:30 a.m. April 12, with both before the Hon. Robert J. Jamo. Judge Jamo established bond in the amount of $75,000 cash or surety, Rogg says.

This operation was able to take place due to the support of the Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force (UPHTTF), the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and Operation Underground Railroad. The Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recognizes Ms. Stephanie Krieger, President of the UPHTTF, for her role in bringing together the resources to make this operation a success, and Genesee County Sheriff, Chris Swanson, for bringing his team to the UP to train and assist in this operation.

The agencies involved in the arrests included the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, the Marquette Police Department, the Michigan State Police, the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET), and the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST).

This story will be updated with additional details and video.

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