GENESEE COUNTY, MI – Members of a Genesee County Sheriff’s Office task force that investigates people accused of trying to have sex with underage people have hit the road, traveling to Nevada and Missouri in recent weeks to show other law enforcement agencies how it executes its own investigations.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said during a news conference Wednesday, June 22, that agents with the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST) recently traveled to Las Vegas, where agents participated in an operation that led to 10 arrests in the first two hours.
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the last five years at GHOST, it’s that there are no boundaries when it comes to predators,” Swanson said.
Las Vegas Metro Police Department officials reached out to Swanson about two months ago, when discussions began to take place about having members from GHOST travel west to teach the larger LBMPD about some of the intricacies of GHOST investigations. Likewise, Swanson said, the sheriff’s office was able to take away lessons from Las Vegas police, too.
Another member of GHOST traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, Swanson said. There, where the local police department that partnered with GHOST did not have any form of similar unit, executed its own sting operation under the guidance of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and arrested nine people over the course of a two-day operation.
“When you look at what’s happening in Las Vegas, what’s happening in Kansas City, and why we’re going to Florida to arrest people at Metro Airport, this is one big network,” Swanson said.
Swanson said the GHOST model has also been reviewed by many local departments in Michigan. The sheriff’s office has worked with departments across 40 Michigan counties, and recently executed an investigation with the National Sheriff’s Association.
“They think they can take this nationwide, as they should,” he said.
Among the arrests made in recent investigations working with other counties were a truck driver, a healthcare worker and a police officer with the Western Michigan University Police Department, Swanson said.
“Nobody is immune,” Swanson said. “No community, no county, no state. We do these to be proactive, instead of answering 911 calls that somebody was sexually abused underage, and that’s us not just treating a symptom, but treating the core cause.”
Read more at The Flint Journal:
Western Michigan University police officer arrested in sex sting operation
Former police officer among latest GHOST arrests
Genesee County man charged with 23 felonies related to child pornography