KALAMAZOO, MI – On Tuesday, May 10th, 2016, investigators from the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team, along with officers from the Portage Department of Public Safety, conducted an operation to combat Human Trafficking in the 5000 block of 9th Street in Oshtemo Township.
This operation was in response to citizen complaints and reports of women being forced into prostitution for narcotics and to repay narcotics debts by area dealers.
During this operation, four women were contacted in reference to prostitution. All admitted to being drug users and that drugs led to them being forced into the sex trade.
During the course of one investigation, investigators learned that a male suspect had transported the female to the meet location and had physically forced her into prostitution. The male suspect was located and arrested while waiting for the female in the parking lot. During the arrest, additional evidence of long-term Human Trafficking and evidence of additional victims were located. The 32-year-old Kalamazoo man was arrested for Human Trafficking, which is a 10-year felony, and Transporting a Person for Prostitution, which is a 20-year felony. These charges will be forwarded to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutors office for review.
The four women who were contacted by investigators were released from custody and provided with contact information in reference to programs and assistance available for victims of Human Trafficking and drug addiction.
Anyone with information regarding illegal drugs or firearms activity is urged to contact KVET at 269-337-8880, or report an anonymous tip to Silent Observer at 269-343-2100 or www.kalamazoosilentobserver.com.