#minorsextrafficking | Suspect arrested in human trafficking case appears in court

BIG RAPIDS — One of three defendants, arrested in a human trafficking sting in Mecosta County over the summer, made an appearance in court this week as the others await their next hearings.

Sonage Azard, of Grand Rapids, was scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing Monday in Mecosta County Circuit Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy’s courtroom. Sonage, 30, was charged with single counts of accosting children for immoral purposes, using a computer to commit a crime, and delivery of a controlled substance-marijuana.

In court chambers, defense attorney James Scozzari, Hill-Kennedy, and the Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office completed a scheduling order for upcoming hearings moving forward, the judge said.

No future court proceedings were set.

Azard was one of three individuals arrested mid-July through a human trafficking sting in Mecosta County. As a result of the sting, Quinn Lee Rasmussen, 46, of Big Rapids, and Joshua Webb, 37, of Lakeview, also were arrested and charged.

All three men are accused of coming to the Mecosta County area looking to have sex with a 14- to 15-year-old girl.

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