Upper Peninsula women drugged, sex trafficked in Lower Michigan

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 5:08 AM EST
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Authorities say two Upper Peninsula women are back with their families after being involved in an alleged human trafficking situation in Lower Michigan.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office says the alleged victims are 19 and 20 years old.

The pair went to the Flint area about three weeks ago to visit one of their boyfriends, according to Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson. Investigators were told that the boyfriend then kicked both of them out after about two weeks.

They ended up sleeping on the floor of another friend's residence at Evergreen Regency Apartments in Flint. Someone then told the women about another place they could stay with a bed.

Swanson says that person took the women to a group of three people ages 30 to 50. That group drugged, sexually abused and offered other people sex with the two women.

The sexual abuse and trafficking allegedly continued for about four days.

"Those individuals attempted to pimp them out," Swanson said. "Those individuals kept them high, so they couldn't make sound decisions to try to get out."

The men accused of trafficking the women eventually brought them to Hurley Medical Center because they looked sick, according to Swanson. Staff at the hospital notified the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, which immediately began investigating.

"Had they not gotten sick and gotten to Hurley -- which Hurley obviously like all of the ERs are well-versed in what to look for in human trafficking -- they would've been trafficked, potentially, throughout the country, because they have no means of communication, they have no means to make sound decisions," Swanson said. "They're only used as property."

Swanson said two people who dropped off the victims returned to the hospital Wednesday morning to check on them. Police arrested them there.

Two other possible suspects were under investigation Wednesday. Names of those involved in the case have not been released. The victims’ hometowns have not been identified.

Authorities remind everyone that trafficking can happen to anyone at any time. If you see something suspicious, call 911.