Macomb County, MI

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Macomb County is a county of approximately 841,000 residents, located north of Detroit in eastern Michigan. Local law enforcement have reported problems related to prostitution and sex trafficking in certain areas of the county, particularly Mount Clemens. At least one serial killer targeting prostituted women has operated in the county, murdering four young women whom he contacted through online escort advertisements in 2011. In one case, a couple was convicted in 2017 for forcing a mentally and physically disabled women to live in a shed in a trailer park and perform commercial sex. They were charged with prostitution and human trafficking.

In addition to conducting and/or assisting with city-level anti-prostitution efforts, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office has also staged sting operations targeting sex buyers at undisclosed locations throughout the county. Specifically, the MCSO’s Macomb Area Computer Enforcement (MACE) team has conducted at least to reverse stings targeting johns attempting to purchase sex in exchange for illegal drugs.

The first operation, conducted in February 2014, resulted in the arrest of a former “reserve officer with the MCSO,” after the individual contacted an undercover officer online and solicited sex in exchange for Oxycodone. Following the investigation, the john’s name, age, and arrest photo were released to the public.

In April 2014, MACE officers conducted two additional stings, resulting in the arrest of four johns. Three men were arrested after arranging to meet an undercover officer online and exchange cocaine for sex. After intercepting the offenders, MACE officers searched their vehicle and “recovered powdered cocaine, crack cocaine and a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun.” In a second investigation, a john was arrested after responding to an internet listing and agreeing to meet an undercover officer for commercial sex. When the man arrived at the location, he was promptly arrested. All arrestees’ names, ages and arrest photos were released to the public.


Key Partners

  • Macomb County Sheriff’s Office
    • Macomb Area Computer Enforcement Team
    • Special Enforcement Team

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Sting and Shaming:

Background on Local Prostitution:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Michigan
Type County
Population 840978
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