|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Marysville is a city of just under 10,000 residents, located in St. Clair County, Michigan near Port Huron. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city, surrounding communities, and in other areas of the county. This activity, 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 is sex trafficking.
Law enforcement agencies have attempted to curtail demand for prostitution by targeting sex buyers through web-based reverse stings. In November 2016, a representative of the neighboring Port Huron Police Department announced the completion of a series of web-based stings in Marysville and Port Huron that resulted in 20 arrests. The operation was a joint effort between the PHPD, Marysville Police Department, Michigan State Police, U.S. Customs, and U.S. Border Patrol– collectively dubbed the Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET). Law enforcement “used social advertising sites to set up prostitution stings and reverse stings” at multiple locations that targeted “people advertising prostitution services and people seeking those services,” according to a NET press release. Though the names of the offenders were not initially publicized in police press releases, the names and photos of some defendants were covered in news reports as their cases were adjudicated.
In August 2017, eight people were arrested in the second phase of the Port Huron and Marysville police departments’ investigation into prostitution and human trafficking in the Blue Water Area. The Neighborhood Enforcement Team focused this phase on individuals advertising prostitution services and seeking those services online. The locations of the stings varied from motels/hotels to private residences in the Port Huron and Marysville areas. Undercover officers used social media sites to pose as both prostituted persons and those seeking prostitution services. Those stings resulted in eight arrests, including one who was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. This second sting brought the total number of arrests in the operation to more than 30. Prostitution or engaging in the use of a prostituted person is considered a misdemeanor that carries a 93-day jail sentence and/or $500 fine in Michigan.
- Marysville Police Department
- Port Huron Police Department
- Michigan State Police
- U.S. Customs
- U.S. Border Patrol
2021 National Assessment II Survey
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “20 Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Port Huron, Marysville,” Port Huron Times Herald, November 11 2016.
- “Port Huron Police Arrest 20 People in Prostitution and Human Trafficking Sting,” ABC/WXYZ-TV 7, November 11 2016.
- https://www.freep.com/port-huron-doctor-faces-prostitution-charges (2016)
- https://www.freep.com/michigan/prostitution-sting-port-huron-marysville (2016)
- https://www.freep.com/prostitution-charges-port-huron (2016)
- https://www.thetimesherald.com/prostitution-sting-nets-8-arrests (2017)
- https://www.thetimesherald.com/doctor-gets-probation-prostitution-bust (2017)
- https://www.abc12.com/A-prostitution-bust-lands-8-people-behind-bars (2017)
- https://www.thetimesherald.com/police-more-prostitution-stings-likely (2017)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Marysville Man Arrested after Allegedly Soliciting Minors,” Port Huron Times Herald, July 17 2015.
- https://www.thetimesherald.com/group-raises-awareness-people-sold-sex-slaves (2015)
- http://www.voicenews.com/marysville-police-urged-to-crack-down-on-crime-at-clair-inn (2016)
- https://www.abc12.com/2-Port-Huron-men-charged-with-child-sex-trafficking (2017)