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Sterling Heights man pleads guilty to sex trafficking of teenage girl in Southfield

Charge carries 20-year prison sentence

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – A Sterling Heights man pleaded guilty last Thursday to sex trafficking charges that involved a 17-year-old girl in Southfield.

Andrew Golden pleaded guilty to one count of human trafficking -- recruiting a minor for commercial sexual activity -- after officials said he advertised the girl online for "adult entertainment: escorts."

“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 Attorney General Bill Schuette. “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 is expected to be sentenced April 24.

Case background

Officials said they received the tip about the alleged sex trafficking Tuesday from a 15-year-old girl who was found in Pennsylvania. The 15-year-old said she had been picked up in New Jersey by Golden and the 17-year-old victim.

Golden allegedly told the 15-year-old that he would be taking the two girls to Michigan to be posted online for commercial sex.

Agents found a posting Wednesday on the website Backpage advertising a girl that allegedly matched the description of the 17-year-old. They conducted an undercover investigation and rescued the girl that day.

Golden was arrested at a hotel in Southfield.

"This case continues to highlight the sickening reality that human trafficking is happening right here in Michigan, every day," said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. "I want to applaud the quick work of all the law enforcement and investigative teams in acting on this tip and rescuing a young woman from this horrible situation."

The human-trafficking charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

"Human Trafficking is very real and it happens closer to home than many realize," said Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins. "I was glad to see a dangerous individual taken off the street. Our department will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to eradicate human trafficking in our community."

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