Human Trafficking Investigation Results in Eight Felony Charges Against Lansing Woman

Contact: Andrea Bitely, Megan Hawthorne; 517-373-8060

March 23, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that he has charged Amber Speed, 40, of Lansing, with multiple felonies, including Minor Sex Trafficking, Pandering, Accepting the Earning of a Prostitute and Debt Bondage.

The case stems from an investigation by a Michigan State Police Trooper, who after attending human trafficking training, came across a case of alleged human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a crime that can be stopped by increasing awareness of the signs,” said Schuette. “One of the goals of the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission is to increase awareness, and thankfully, Michigan State Troopers recognized the signs of trafficking after completing a comprehensive training about how to identify the crime. The signs are out there, and thankfully the Troopers were able to act in this case of suspected trafficking.”

“Human trafficking happens in Michigan and we should all be aware of the signs that might save someone’s life,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police.  “Providing training to our troopers on how to recognize human trafficking was one important step in fighting this increasing crime.”

Charges

The Defendant is charged with the following:

  • Three counts of Minor Sex Trafficking (Felony – 20 years)
  • Three counts of Prostitution/Pandering (Felony – 20 years)
  • One count of Prostitution/Accepting Earnings (Felony – 20 years)
  • One count of Debt Bondage (Felony – 20 years)

Speed was arraigned late in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 before Judge Louise Alderson in 54-A District Court in Lansing.  Bond is set at $100,000 cash/surety. Her next court date is set for March 30, 2017.

Case Background

Speed was allegedly conducting an “escort” operation, posting advertisements for commercial sex for herself and at least three other girls and young women online. The alleged victims were minors when they were brought into the human trafficking ring. Multiple instances of Speed allegedly trafficking minors is alleged to have occurred from 2009 through approximately 2014.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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. Thanks to training provided by this effort, the Michigan State Police trooper could competently identify this instance of sex trafficking.

For more information, please visit the Attorney General’s human trafficking webpage.

Mug shot of Speed

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