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Nessel: State won't Harbor Exploiters, Traffickers of any kind

LANSING – Michigan continues to crack down on human trafficking as Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced the sentencing of Robert Standfield, 24, of Port Huron to one to 15 years in jail for his involvement in the sex trafficking of a minor. The sentencing comes during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, which is dedicated to the awareness of this increasingly wide-spread issue.

Standfield was sentenced today in Macomb County Circuit Court before Judge Kathryn Viviano. In December, Standfield pled guilty to one count of human trafficking – forced labor resulting in commercial sex.

The investigation into Standfield and his co-defendant Joseph McGough was initiated by the Warren Police Department after a victim came forward stating the defendants were trafficking her out of hotels in Macomb and Oakland counties between April and September 2017. The victim was a minor at the time.

Standfield and McGough were charged in December 2017. McGough was sentenced to three years and 11.5 months to 15 years in prison in November 2018.

“This case only scratches the surface of our team’s commitment to fighting against this heinous crime.” Nessel said. “This should paint a clear picture that Michigan won’t harbor these criminals or anyone who lines their pockets by exploiting people and preying on our children.

“Partnerships continue to be critical in the work to end this human trafficking,” Nessel added. “My team is actively building partnerships with victim advocates, law enforcement agencies and federal and state agencies to ensure we’re working in lockstep on this issue.”

Nessel said she appreciates the assistance of the Warren Police Department and the FBI-led Macomb County Child Exploitation Task Force in bringing these individuals to justice.

Since 2011, the Department of the Attorney General has provided training to more than 1,000 professionals and filed charges against 27 individuals for human trafficking – all leading to arrests. It has successfully convicted 24, with cases against several additional defendants currently pending. The department is also home to the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission – a commission positioning Michigan to become the national leader in crafting policies and laws to combat human trafficking by holding traffickers accountable and serving the needs of victims.