Fugitive in Victory Inn trafficking case caught after 2-year manhunt
Federal authorities arrested the accused leader and last remaining fugitive of a drug and sex-trafficking ring at a Detroit motel after a two-year manhunt.
Darrick Bell was arrested late Wednesday at the Econo Lodge in Monroe by Homeland Security Investigations special agents and the U.S. Marshals Service, representatives said in a statement.
Investigators found nearly $12,000 and suspected cocaine in the motel room, the release said. They also arrested a woman who is facing drug charges.
Bell, 50, known as Tone or Ghost, had been on the run since January 2017, when nearly 200 law enforcement personnel raided the Victory Inn on Detroit's west side, one of the largest federal raids in the city's history.
The investigation and raid rescued 14 women and uncovered a sophisticated criminal organization with a hierarchy, lookouts and a body count. The drug and sex-trafficking operation took over the 42-room property, leaving two rooms for legitimate customers.
The inside story behind one of the largest law enforcement raids in Detroit history that shuttered a drug-riddled motel agents likened to a brothel.
Bell, a convicted killer and alleged pimp, was accused of running sex-trafficking at the motel.
He and five other defendants were charged with trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion collection and conspiracy, among other charges.
Bell was the last remaining fugitive in a manhunt for those connected. Harold "Nephew" Nero, one of the five charged, was arrested in June 2017.
"HSI special agents and deputy U.S. Marshals are actively investigating persons who aided and abetted Bell to evade capture," investigators said Wednesday.
Victory Inn has since been demolished.