Warren, 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

Warren is a city of approximately 134,000 residents, located in Macomb County in eastern Michigan. It is the largest suburb in the Detroit metropolitan area. Prostitution has been identified by police and residents as a serious problem in the city, and Warren has been identified by federal and local law enforcement as being part of regional and interstate human trafficking circuits.  In one case, a police officer was shot and a suspected pimp was killed during a shootout when the officer responded to a call in which a man had ordered online prostitution but declined to pay.  The woman’s pimp arrived to collect the money, resulting in an altercation to which the police responded and the shootings occurred. A human trafficking investigation led to the arrest in April 2019 of a fugitive wanted for murder.  The man was wanted for a December 2018 murder in Atlanta, and was also sought for a parole violation in an armed robbery and cocaine possession case. Investigators learned he was living off the proceeds of prostitution. He had been staying at various hotels in Warren and other metro Detroit cities. Warren police sought charges for Accepting Earnings of a Prostitute and Prostitution-Pandering. Police also recovered a human trafficking victim, as well as small amounts of Heroin and Methamphetamine when they arrested the suspect.

In an effort to reduce the demand driving the exploitation of prostituted women, Warren police conduct reverse stings and release the identities of those arrested to the media. In 2011, the Warren Police Department created a website which publishes the names and photographs of those arrested for solicitation of prostitution. The city is able to seize the autos of arrested johns.

In December, 2019, it was announced that 46 people were arrested and faced 103 criminal charges in connection to a human trafficking sweep in the city. The Warren Police Department said that it arrested 25 women and 21 men during a three-day sting dubbed “Operation Crusade II” that focused on human trafficking, prostitution, pandering and illegal sale of drugs. All the suspects have been arraigned. The most serious charges were for “transporting a prostitute” and accepting earnings of prostitution, both 20-year felonies. The suspects are charged with a combined 31 felonies and 72 misdemeanors. Those arrested include a State Farm Insurance agent, an OnStar technician, a Bank of America employee, a student from East Lansing, a builder and an iron worker. Among the suspects were residents of Manistique, East Lansing, Macomb, Troy, Royal Oak, Grosse Point, Sterling Heights, Garden City and Clarkston. The prostituted women ranged in age from 18-20 years old.  The charges included:

  • Seven charges of transporting a “prostitute,” 20 year felony;
  • One charge of accepting the earnings of prostitution, 20 year felony;
  • Six charges of house of prostitution, 5-year felony;
  • Six charges of possession of a controlled substance, 4-year felony;
  • 20 charges of prostitution, one-year misdemeanor;
  • 34 charges of using a computer in a crime, one-year misdemeanor;
  • 14 charges of soliciting for prostitution, 93-day misdemeanor; and
  • Unspecified number of charges of possession of narcotic equipment, 90-day misdemeanor.

Key Partners

  • Warren Police Department

Key Sources

Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Michigan
Type City
Population 138130
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