Demolition takes down Detroit's Victory Inn after sex trafficking bust nearly a year ago

Judge ordered closure of motel after Jan. 12 raid

DETROIT – Nearly a year after a federal raid uncovered a sex trafficking ring at Detroit's Victory Inn, the building on Michigan Avenue is coming down.

On Jan. 12, police from several jurisdictions and federal authorities executed a search warrant at the motel near Wyoming Avenue. The search uncovered sex trafficking, drugs and other illegal activity.

Investigators say the motel’s management allegedly allowed criminals to control all but two rooms at the motel.

On Saturday, crews were working to excavate the building that has stood empty since a judge ordered its closure for a year after the raid. 

A man named Joe was taking pictures of the demolition.

"This is what everyone in the neighborhood has been crying for for a long time," Joe said.

Timothy Drakeford of Direct Construction Services said he was contracted by the motel's owners to demolish the building.

"They just wanted to get the bad off of them. They wanted to start fresh and new,” he said.

Tracking down the building's owner isn't easy, and it's unclear if the owners plan to rebuild at the site.

“It’s good for the end of the year – bring the bad out, bring in something good 2018," Drakeford said.

Full Victory Inn coverage:

July 28, 2017: Man arrested in connection with Victory Inn sex trafficking ring

April 17, 2017: More charges issued in Victory Inn crime ring; woman accused of harboring person from arrest

April 3, 2017: Shuttered Victory Inn motel clerk accused of helping to run prostitution, drug ring

March 31, 2017: Unsealed indictment describes extent of crime organization at Victory Inn motel in Detroit

March 30, 2017: Fire rips through shuttered Victory Inn motel on Michigan Avenue

March 21, 2017: Alleged pimp in Victory Inn prostitution ring to remain behind bars after detention hearing

March 17, 2017: Alleged pimp considered among leaders of Victory Inn prostitution ring arrested

Feb. 9, 2017: Victory Inn raid leads to sex trafficking, drug distribution, conspiracy charges

Jan. 12, 2017: Police raid Victory Inn motel on Michigan Avenue in Detroit

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.