ICE nabs DHS “most wanted” fugitive for sex trafficking
Monroe News, Mich.
Federal agents arrested a most-wanted fugitive, a suspect wanted in a sex trafficking operation in Detroit, in a Monroe Township motel following a two-year manhunt.
Darrick Bell, 50, known as “Tone” or “Ghost,” was taken into custody Wednesday at the Econo Lodge Inn on Albain Rd. Bell, the accused leader of a sophisticated human trafficking and narcotics distribution operation in Detroit, apparently has ties to the Monroe County area, local authorities said.
Members of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation teams arrested Bell following an investigation that began in 2017.
According to the ICE website, Bell and five other defendants were charged in a nine-count indictment with trafficking in persons, forced labor, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion collection and conspiracy, among other charges.
He fled before nearly 200 law enforcement personnel descended on the Victory Inn in Detroit in January, 2017, in one the largest human trafficking enforcement operations in the city’s history.
A judge ordered the Victory Inn, which is on Michigan Ave., closed after Detroit Police logged more than 115 calls to the location for crimes such as shootings, aggravated assaults and two homicides allegedly linked to former motel guests.
The indictment alleges that Bell, along with his co-conspirators, formed and operated a massive human trafficking and narcotics distribution operation out of multiple rooms at the now-shuttered motel. The women were allegedly exploited and abused by forcing them – through threats, coercion and isolation – to work as commercial sex workers for the financial benefit of Bell and other defendants.
Bell, who was considered armed and dangerous, was placed on the Homeland Security Most Wanted list.
©2019 Monroe News, Mich.