Calhoun County, MI

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Calhoun County is a county of about 134,000 residents in southern Michigan, approximately 75 miles west of Ann Arbor. Its county seat is Marshall and its largest city is Battle Creek. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been persistent and visible in the cities and incorporated areas within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are sex trafficking, including child sex trafficking, and cases of targeted assaults of prostituted women. There have also been multiple cases in which drugs were involved with the local sex trade and children being sex trafficked were recorded and child sexual abuse materials (i.e., child pornography) were distributed online.

To combat the demand for commercial sex in the area, there has been at least one web-based reverse sting conducted on the county level. In December 2021, a Battle Creek man was arrested during a human trafficking sting conducted by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team. Law enforcement were monitoring several social media platforms when the man began a conversation with a Calhoun County deputy posing as a 14-year-old girl. The man was arrested after traveling to Marshall intending to sexually abuse the minor. He was charged with soliciting a minor for immoral purposes and using a computer to commit a crime. He told deputies that he used social media platforms for sex at least once a week. The man had previously been released from prison for criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13, home invasion, and prisoner possessing weapons.

Employment loss is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred in the city.  For example, in September, 2014, the managing director of the Jackson and Calhoun County Road Departments resigned after being investigated for possible possession of crack cocaine and “solicitation of a prostitute.”   An officer stopped the man at Eaton and Erie streets in Albion because he was “acting suspiciously,” the Albion public safety Chief said. A person in the passenger seat fled the vehicle and ran into an apartment. The sex buyer submitted a memo notifying the county that he was leaving his post. The man had been manager of the Manistee County Road Commission for 13 years, began working for the two counties in July 2013 after officials from both governments agreed to collaborate.

Key Partners

  • Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office
  • Genesee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:

Employment Loss:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Michigan
Type County
Population 133943
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