PONTIAC (WWJ) – A 35-year-old Sterling Heights man has pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges involving the sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the case resulted from a tip last December from a 15-year-old girl who claimed she was also lured into prostitution by Andrew Golden.
The teen told investigators she’d been picked up in New Jersey several weeks prior by Golden and the minor victim, Schuette said. Golden allegedly stated that he would be taking the girls to Michigan where they would be advertised online for commercial sex.
The following day, Schuette said, undercover agents with the FBI-led Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes task force (SEMTEC) responded to an ad for the 17-year-old girl on the website Backpage.com under “adult entertainment: escorts.”
Investigators were led to a Southfield hotel where they rescued the teen and arrested Golden.
He was charged with one count of human trafficking – recruiting a minor for commercial sexual activity and pleaded guilty in Oakland County Circuit Court on March 30.
“We have had so much activity from our human trafficking unit over the over the past several weeks, we can make no mistake: Human Trafficking is happening in Michigan. We can’t ignore the crime happening not just in our cities but in our small towns as well,” said Schuette, in a statement.
“I want to once again thank SEMTEC and local law enforcement for their quick action in this case and their continued efforts to fight human trafficking I our state.”
Golden faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for Monday, April 24.