Lansing, MI – April 4, 2017 – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Andrew Golden, 35, of Sterling Heights, pleaded guilty to one count of Human Trafficking – Recruiting a Minor for Commercial Sexual Activity, for sex trafficking a 17 year-old.
“We have had so much activity from our human trafficking unit over the over the past several weeks, we can make no mistake: Human Trafficking is happening in Michigan. We can’t ignore the crime happening not just in our cities but in our small towns as well,” said Schuette. “I want to once again thank SEMTEC and local law enforcement for their quick action in this case and their continued efforts to fight human trafficking I our state.”
Golden pleaded guilty as charged on Thursday, March 30, 2017 before Judge Daniel O’Brien in Oakland County Circuit Court. His sentencing is set for April 24, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
The FBI led, Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes task force (SEMTEC), received a tip about the alleged sex trafficking of a minor in Southfield on December 13, 2016 and an investigation immediately ensued. The tip came from a 15 year-old girl who was found in Pennsylvania earlier in the week who reported she had been picked up in New Jersey several weeks prior by Golden and the minor victim. Golden allegedly stated that he would be taking them to Michigan to be posted online for commercial sex.
On December 14, agents found a posting on the website Backpage advertising “adult entertainment: escorts” that allegedly matched the description of the minor in question. Agents conducted an undercover operation to rescue the girl on that same day Golden was arrested at a hotel in Southfield.
SEMTEC is operated by the FBI and is a partnership with 12 law enforcement organizations, including the Michigan State Police, throughout southeast Michigan. SEMTEC serves as the investigative entity of the federally funded Joint Anti-Trafficking Task Force.
Protecting Victims, Stopping Trafficking in Michigan
Created by reallocating resources in the Attorney General’s Criminal Division, Schuette’s Human Trafficking Unit has placed an increased focus on combating human trafficking in Michigan, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office. The unit works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to uncover and prosecute cases of modern-day slavery involving both children and adults.
For more information, please visit the Attorney General’s human trafficking webpage.
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