Several men arrested during 4-month GHOST operation

On Wednesday, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson announced 11 men were arrested as part of that operation. The sheriff also gave an update on two other arrest
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 12:58 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 2:46 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Several men have been arrested following a four-month operation by the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST).

On Wednesday, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson announced 11 men were arrested as part of that operation. The sheriff also gave an update on two other arrests that were recently made by GHOST.

Swanson said the work of GHOST helps save the lives of future victims of human trafficking.

Swanson spoke about the following suspects who were arrested during GHOST’s most recent sting:

  • Daniel Jackson, 49, from Metamora, came to the operation to have sex with a 15-year-old without a condom.
  • Jacob Wutka, 32, from Shelby Township, asked the GHOST decoy if they took donations, according to Swanson.
  • Cornelius Martin, 29, from Grand Blanc, works at a parts and delivery organization, Swanson said. The sheriff also said the chat was too crude to be disclosed to the public.
  • Cevin Payne, 29, from Burton, showed up to have sex with an underage person.
  • Brandon Fritz, 28, from Waterford, asked what the decoy was wearing and also had a fantasy on what he thought they should wear, the sheriff said.
  • David Wagner, 54, from Lapeer, is a factory worker.
  • Jasynn Dings, 49, from Lapeer, has an excavating company, and he brought a dump truck to the scene, as well as a bottle of Faygo Rock and Rye, Swanson said.
  • Satinder Singh, from Saginaw, told the decoy in the chat that age is just a number.
  • Robert Gray, 29, has been out on parole for 60 days, and he told investigators he’s been meeting with more than a dozen people ever since he got out, Swanson stated.
  • Anthony Cook, 39, from Flint.
  • Thomas Smeaton, 70, from Chesaning, is a commercial truck driver and drove 45 miles to meet with a 15-year-old, Swanson said. The sheriff also said Smeaton’s comments in the chat were extremely vile.

“Our chatters will chat with two to 250 people every night,” Swanson said. “They can’t unsee it and unhear it. Our chatters and our decoys are heroes.”

Swanson said GHOST investigations don’t just affect the suspects, but also their loved ones. Swanson said while he understands there are families behind the pictures, he tries to use operations as a deterrent for offenders.

“When we lay this all out, it’s not to do anything but keep people accountable,” Swanson said. “When you are arrested, it’s public information. Don’t show up to our GHOST ops. Don’t try to have sex with underage kids.”

Swanson also gave an update on two other recent arrests made by GHOST.

“When we feature these individuals it’s because they have an incredible ability to put themselves in positions of potential future victims,” Swanson said. “It’s not only to hold them accountable but also to give victims who may not have been able to come forward the courage to say I trust the sheriff’s office.”

David Dues, a man from Davison, was recently arrested by GHOST for child pornography. Swanson said Dues has a family that he knows is hurting, but based on GHOST’s investigation, he knows it is not Dues’ first offense.

Read More: Local teacher arrested, charged with 23 felony counts

“I’m sensitive, but it must be done,” Swanson said.

Swanson also spoke about Todd Barracco, a former police officer and educator. Swanson said he was an assistant principal at Vassar Public Schools. Swanson said he brought his badge from Vassar and the village of Oxford to the sting.

Swanson said Barracco was immediately terminated from his position the morning following the investigation.

Read More: Former Vassar officer among 13 arrested in GHOST operation

Swanson said the Genesee County’s Sheriff’s Office continues to be a safe place for victims to come forward.

“We’re going to have your back. We’re going to protect you,” Swanson said. “There will be no corner of this society where predators are allowed to roam free.”