Warren nets 46 arrests related to human trafficking, prostitution

Christine MacDonald
The Detroit News

Warren — Warren police touted 46 arrests Friday in an ongoing human trafficking investigation called Operation Crusade, involving drugs and prostitution.

One “John” traveled from Manistee and the prostitutes charged in the three-day roundup range in age from 18 to 60, said Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer. The crimes were committed in hotels and multi-unit apartment complexes in the city, investigators said.  

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer displays some of the 46 people arrested by the Warren Police Department’s Special Investigation Division and Special Operation Unit. The arrest are part of Operation Crusade II which focused on human trafficking prostitution and pandering.

“The mayor is concerned about people coming in from outside the city, using Warren as a hub to have prostitution and drugs,” Dwyer said. “It’s just not going to be tolerated by him or myself.”

No victims of human trafficking were identified in this week’s arrests. “So far none of these prostitutes who were arrested are admitting they are victims of human trafficking but time will tell,” Dwyer said. 

In the operation’s first round in May that netted 35 arrests, three victims were discovered, Dwyer said. The department has connected those women with agencies to help them recover. 

This week’s arrests resulted in 20 felony charges, including transporting a prostitute, which is a 20-year felony, along with 69 misdemeanors. Dwyer said the individuals have all been arraigned. 

Dwyer stressed that prostitution is illegal and charges are warranted against the women. But he also called the prostitutes victims because they’ve become addicted to drugs with the help of their pimps.

Of the 46 arrests, 25 were women. Detective Craig Bankowski said some of the women were charged in connection with transporting prostitutes. 

Dwyer said they want human trafficking victims to come forward and that their investigation is ongoing. 

“Let the Warren police department assist you,” Dwyer said. “Everything that is done is confidential.” 

“We want to make sure victims of human trafficking are identified and treated as human beings.”