Training helped trooper bust under age prostitution ring

Posted at 7:05 AM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 10:58:09-04

Amber Speed of Lansing is charged with 8 different felony counts related to running an underage human trafficking ring. Investigators say she was posting sex ads for herself and at least three other girls.

“This is our second charge this week in the department of the attorney general on human trafficking charges” Megan Hawthorne with the Attorney General’s Office said. “And it happens every single day unfortunately."

Human trafficking is a big problem in Michigan, according to Lieutenant Joseph Thomas with Michigan State Police, and the busting of this ring all started with a traffic stop. The trooper involved was able to recognize some of the signs of human trafficking-- thanks to special training.

"In this particular case the trooper was very attentive to the passengers in the vehicle and noted there were some inconsistencies in their stories," Lt. Thomas said.

In the training troopers learn interview techniques and what signs might mean someone is a victim of human trafficking.

"Some of the cues that you might find are their stories may be conflicting, evasive eye contact or something like that or you may find that an adult in the vehicle is not allowing other people to speak," Lt. Thomas said.

Lieutenant Thomas says other signs include unexplainable bruising. He says other red flags could be adults moving in and out of houses with children who don't live there or if you can't figure out how a kid knows the adult they're with.

"Recognizing the signs and training especially the police officers and medical professionals how to identify them is gonna be crucial in bringing this crime to a stop," Hawthorne said.

To learn more about some of the signs of human trafficking, click here.