‘Dirty Dozen:’ Michigan sheriff announces arrest of 12 in connection with human trafficking

Michigan sheriff announces arrest of 12 in connection with human trafficking

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. — The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office’s GHOST task force arrested 12 more people in connection to human trafficking — part of the task force’s latest phase in their ongoing operation targeting human trafficking.

“My task force was created under a ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy,” said Sheriff Robert Pickell on Facebook. “For those targeting our innocent children however, Genesee County is no field of dreams. It has become their nightmare.”

Below is a list of the latest arrests and their occupations:

  • Thomas Ternan, 54 – Supervisor
  • David Obrien, 28 – Mechanic
  • Donald Humpert, 56 – Painter
  • John Thomas, 36 – Installer
  • Larry Starnes, 49 – Airport shuttle bus driver
  • Allan Tharp, 25 – Utility worker
  • Julian Brignon-Rodriguez, 28 – Construction
  • John Mandock, 53 – Unemployed
  • Robert Bailey, 30 – Pool cleaner
  • Keenon Waters, 25 – Apartment maintenance worker
  • Ahmed Abloye, 20 – College student
  • 12th suspect’s charges are pending

All of the suspects were charged with child sexual abusive material, use of a computer to commit a crime, and accosting a child for immoral purposes.

In addition, one was charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and one was charged with obstructing and resisting an officer.

One of the suspects dropped his 13-year-old daughter at volleyball practice and then met up with the task force for what he assumed was going to be sex with a 13-year-old girl, Pickell said.

“We want this to end, but it doesn’t seem like there will be an end to it,” Pickell said. “What my real fear is, is that somewhere out there there is a Jeffrey Dahmer. That would be horrific.”

Pickell said the GHOST task force is all about protecting the children.

“Parents use to worry about their kids when they were outside playing,” said Pickell. “Now, you have to worry about your kids when they’re online on the computer.”

Pickell’s advice to parents is to be alert at all times, and watch what your children are doing on their computer.

He said GHOST will work with families to review some of the concerns they have.

“We would like to make it a field of dreams for our innocent children,” Pickell said. “We’re going to continue this operation. We’re going to continue to be out there.”

Pickell said his task force will not stop until they get all child predators off the streets.

“When you look into your computer and you think no one is looking at you, look again, because you might see Pickell or his GHOST team,” Pickell said.

There have been 48 arrests since the GHOST task force was created a little more than four months ago.

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