Two men arrested in sex trafficking sting operation
Caseville Twp. Mich. (WNEM) – Two separate arrests were made on felony charges for sex crimes following a human trafficking sting operation in Huron County.
Dennis Bales, 66, of Port Huron, and Dale Ignash, 70, of Filion, were arrested on Aug. 17 for sex crimes and using a computer in the commission of a crime.
The operation followed another Huron County sex sting in July.
The operation happened out of an undisclosed location in Caseville Township, which used internet sex and prostitution sites, Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said.
“They would literally ‘shop’ these sites, then reach out believing they were communicating and arranging a meeting with an underage sex participant; however, they were actually reaching out and communicating with our tri-county team,” Hanson said.
The tri-county team consists of members from the Huron County Sheriff’s Office, Sanilac County Sheriff’s Office, Sanilac County Drug Task Force, Bad Axe Police Department, and the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office.
When the suspects arrived at the undisclosed location, young deputy sheriff decoys were used by being visible in order to satisfy the suspicions and curiosities of the suspects, Hanson stated.
Both suspects acknowledged wanting to have sex with an underage male, Hanson said.
A 68-year-old Lexington man, who was an acquaintance of Bales, was released after being detained. He could face charges, Hanson said.
Several items of evidence were seized by officers during the operation such as cell phones, cash, vehicles, and other things.
The Huron County Prosecutor’s Office formally charged both men with three felony-related sex charges involving minors. They were arraigned Aug. 18.
Bales’ bond was set at $200,000 cash. Ignash has been released on bond.
Bales’ bond was likely amended due to him having past sex-related convictions that have him on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, according to Hanson.
This incident did not involve actual teens forcibly being human trafficked for sex, according to Hanson. However, all tri-county residents are asked to be on the lookout for this type of activity and report it to their sheriff’s office or local police.
Plans are underway for another tri-county operation to occur in the future, Hanson said.
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