January 5, 2018
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Amber Speed, 40, formerly of Lansing, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of conducting a criminal enterprise for running a sex trafficking ring comprised of minors in the Lansing area.
The original charges stemmed from an investigation by a Michigan State Police Trooper, who after attending human trafficking training, came across a case of alleged human trafficking.
“Today’s conviction shows the importance of training and the need for increased awareness of human trafficking," said Schuette. "I would like to thank the Michigan State Police for their hard work on this case, and encourage law enforcement officers, medical personnel and others to make themselves aware of the signs of human trafficking. This crime can happen anywhere, from Lansing, to Detroit, Grand Rapids and small towns across our state.”
“Training our troopers to recognize human trafficking is a very important part of investigating and fighting back against this crime,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. “The MSP is dedicated to preventing human trafficking and rescuing those being trafficked.”
Speed was originally charged with multiple felonies in March 2017. Earlier this week four charges were dropped, and the jury deliberated on the remaining charges below:
Speed was conducting an “escort” operation, posting advertisements for commercial sex for herself and at least three other girls and young women online. The victims were minors when they were brought into the human trafficking ring. Multiple instances of Speed trafficking minors occurred from 2009 through approximately 2014.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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.