Undercover operation saves 16-year-old Michigan girl from human trafficking

Girl lured into trafficking by man

A Flint man has been charged in an alleged human trafficking case.
A Flint man has been charged in an alleged human trafficking case.

FLINT, Mich. – Authorities in Genesee County posed as customers to rescue a 16-year-old girl from human trafficking.

According to officials, authorities were able to use a ghost operation to save the girl Feb. 7 in Flint.

Shawn Randall, 26, is accused of befriending the victim to lure her into trafficking.

“This 26-year-old had common friends with the victims, started building a relationship, and for the last three months has been trafficking her four to five times a day. She’s grossing $1,000 a week,” said Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson.

Officials said Randall used love to control her. The victim even referred to Randall as her boyfriend and said she saw him like a brother.

“This individual used the leverage of love and attention to keep this young teen under his spell,” Swanson said.

Randall is charged with five felony charges, including human trafficking of a minor. His bond was set as $300,000.

Authorities said the case is just one many instances where minors are forced into human trafficking. Swanson urged parents to supervise their children, noting how easy technology makes it for predators to reach youth.

“If you don’t have protection on your kids’ phones, you’re literally opening the front door, allowing predators to come in your room while you go to another place," Swanson said.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.