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Macomb County is a county of approximately 881,000 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 woman to live in a shed in a trailer park and perform commercial sex. They were charged with prostitution and human trafficking. In March 2022, a Southfield man was sentenced for trafficking a 17-year-old girl and “branding” her face with a tattoo of his name. The man acted as the girl’s “pimp” by setting up sex dates and receiving money in return while providing supplies such as food and condoms. He had the girl tattoo his name on her forehead and the side of her face at a time when he knew she was 17 years old while committing these crimes.
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 two reverse stings targeting sex buyers 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 sex buyer’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 sex buyers. 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 sex buyer 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.
In August 2022, police officers arrested a 50-year-old nurse practitioner after he responded to an ad placed by police. In the ad, police posed as a 15-year-old boy looking for sex. When the man arrived outside the agreed-upon bar to sexually exploit the young boy, he was arrested by police.
- Macomb County Sheriff’s Office
- Macomb Area Computer Enforcement Team
- Special Enforcement Team
Web-Based Reverse Sting and Identity Disclosure:
- “Ex-Sheriff’s Reserve Officer Charged in Sex-for-Drugs Case”, CBS/WWJ-TV 62, February 21 2014.
- “Macomb Township Man Faces Charge of Seeking Sex for Drugs”, Macomb Township Chronicle, February 25 2014.
- “4 Men Busted for Soliciting Sex from Undercover Officers Online”, CBS/WWJ-TV 62, April 9 2014.
- “Ex-Michigan Captain Leslie Rockymore Arrested in Drugs-for-Sex Scheme”, Detroit Free Press, April 9 2014.
- “Macomb Sheriff’s Unit Nabs Four Metro Detroiters in Online Sting”, Detroit Free Press, April 9 2014.
- “Undercover Officers Nab Four in M.A.C.E. Sting”, Macomb Township Chronicle, April 16 2014.
- https://aggressivecriminaldefense.com/ex-u-m-basketball-captain-arrested-facing-charges-drugs-firearms-prostitution (2014)
- https://www.fox2detroit.com/nurse-practitioner-from-macomb-county-arrested-trying-to-meet-up-with-15-year-old-for-sex (2022)
Background on Local Prostitution:
- https://patch.com/macomb-township-message-parlor-investigated-prostitution (2021)
- https://www.radio.com/macomb-twp-massage-parlor-busted-for-alleged-prostitution (2021)
- https://www.michigan.gov/warren-man-charged-with-sex-trafficking (2022)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “15 Macomb Residents Nabbed in National Child Prostitution Sweep”, Macomb Daily, July 29 2013.
- https://www.fox2detroit.com/deputies-macomb-couple-kept-special-needs-woman-in-shed-sold-her-for-sex (2017)
- https://www.mlive.com/michigan-couple-sentenced-for-sex-trafficking-disabled-woman-from-shed.html (2019)
- https://www.clickondetroit.com/southfield-man-sentenced-trafficking-teenage-girl-branding-her-face-tattoo (2022)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “James Brown Is ‘Main Culprit’ Behind 4 Detroit Women Killed and Left in Cars, Police Say”, Huffington Post, May 5 2012.
- “Man Charged with Murders of Four Detroit Women Found in Car Trunks”, NBC News, November 26 2012.
- “James Brown, Michigan Man, Convicted of Killing 4 Women Met on Escort Service”, Huffington Post, February 28 2014.
- “Backpage Murderer Called Coward for Failing to Show Up for Sentencing”, Macomb Daily, April 15 2014.