Two Flint residents face 57 charges in ‘human trafficking operation’, sheriff says
FLINT, MI – Two residents of Flint have been brought to justice on 57 combined counts resulting from an alleged human trafficking operation involving “sextortion.”
Genesee County Sheriff Chris R. Swanson announced on Friday, November 19 online press conference that 20-year-old Marquan A. Cox and 19-year-old Madyson K. Dennis “had been running a human trafficking operation in this county for three years.”
Swanson said Cox and Dennis abused four 14-year-old girls, who they hooked up with through social media and started grooming.
“They gain confidence by building a conversation, and it can take weeks and months to do so,” Swanson said. “They are very patient, because they do it to more than one.”
In October, a joint investigation was launched by the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (or GHOST), the Flint Township Police Department and Voices for Children. Investigators determined the girls were taken to a house on the 400 block of Westcombe Avenue in Flint, Swanson said.
Police executed a search warrant on the house, finding what Swanson called a “sex dungeon”.
“This is where these little girls were drugged, raped, filmed and lured over and over again,” Swanson said, posting photos of the scene.
Cox and Dennis extorted the girls from returning home by threatening to show obscene photos and videos of them to family members, police said.
“These victims were scared,” the sheriff said. “They got scared, they went there and they were intimidated, they were threatened to have sex with these two accused.”
This conduct has occurred on a number of occasions, Swanson said.
“Cox and Dennis were like, ‘If you’re not coming to this house to party, then we’re going to send your grandma a video or a photo,” and they did, ”Swanson said. “These little victims didn’t want to come, but when their loved ones got a video of them on social media in a compromising position, it forced them to try to remove them, and that’s where the act came about. is produced. “
Cox and Dennis also abused girls at the Red Roof Inn at 3219 Miller Road in Flint Township, the sheriff claimed. GHOST agents executed a warrant against a room in the inn, finding several weapons, including at least two firearms, 53 grams of cocaine, an iPad and an external hard drive.
“I am convinced that there are more victims that Cox and Dennis treated, sextorted and raped and that we must help deliver justice,” he said. “I have no doubts that the data on (the devices) will lead us to more.”
On November 7, Genesee County District Judge Christopher R. Odette arraigned Cox and Dennis on criminal charges. Cox faces 29 crimes and two misdemeanors, including seven counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of extortion and six counts of child abuse. Dennis faces 24 crimes and two misdemeanors, including six counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of extortion and eight counts of child abuse.
First degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration and is a lifetime offense. Extortion is a 20 year crime.
Judge Odette set Cox’s bond at $ 620,000 in cash collateral and Dennis’s bond at $ 505,000 in cash collateral. The two defendants were still in prison on Saturday, November 20.
Swanson encouraged parents and guardians to know what their children are up to on social media and to monitor their phones and computers. He advised them to look for changes in their children’s behavior.
“Sometimes the evidence is right in front of us and we don’t see it. If we don’t know, think about the damage that can occur, ”the sheriff said.
Swanson has asked other potential victims to come forward by calling 911 or GHOST at 810-257-3422.
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