Munising, 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

Munising is a city in Alger County, Michigan, and had a population of just under 2,000 at the 2020 census. It serves as the government seat of Alger County. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented throughout the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan.  Among the efforts to combat these and related crimes have been the use of demand reduction tactics. In September, 2022, the Alger County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with coalition partners of the U.P. HOST (Upper Peninsula Human Oppression Strike Team) and conducted operations to identify and arrest consumers of child sex crimes in Alger County. Hundreds of chats happened during the operation between undercover police officers and multiple persons interested in paying to sexually abuse a minor. Police announced that a 38-year-old man from Gladstone chatted with undercover police agents posing as minors, and arranged to pay to sexually abuse a 15 year old person. He arrived at the agreed upon location in Munising while wearing a Teenage Ninja Turtles T-shirt, and brought a form of payment, alcohol, and a pack of condoms with him to the hotel. The Alger County Prosecutor charged the man with following crimes:

  • Count 1.  Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, a felony with a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison and/or $4,000. Conviction of this offense also carries requirements to register as a sex offender under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act.
  • Count 2. Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime, a felony with a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.
  • Count 3. Selling/Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, a misdemeanor with a mandatory $1000 fine and may be sentenced to 60 days imprisonment.

The multi-jurisdictional operation included law enforcement agencies from Alger County Sheriff’s Office, Baraga County Sheriff’s Office, Houghton County Sheriff’s Office, Iron River Police Department. Operational expenses were grant funded by the U.P. Human Trafficking Task Force. The U.P. HOST team was created by the Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force (UPHTTF), a nonprofit NGO that set forth the following goal to investigate & prosecute human trafficking cases at the local, state, and federal levels.

Key Partners

  • Alger County Sheriff’s Office
  • Baraga County Sheriff’s Office
  • Houghton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Iron River Police Department
  • U.P. Human Trafficking Task Force
  • U.P. HOST (Human Oppression Strike Team)

Key Sources

Web Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution, Sex Trafficking in Upper Peninsula Region:

State Michigan
Type City
Population 1991
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