4 charged in opioid drug, human trafficking operation out of Metro Detroit

Four people were arrested and charged with multiple felonies in connection with an opioid drug and human trafficking operation being run in Warren, Madison Heights and Southfield.

Melvin Niblett, Corey cooper, Maurice Rushton and Jasmin McGinnis engaged in an operation to sell drugs through the illicit sale of sexual services, according to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

“Human traffickers will use anything to continue to hold their victims hostage in their dark world,” Schuette said. “We shouldn’t be surprised by their readiness to prey upon those suffering addiction, especially to opioids, which can be purchased cheaply in nearly any town or city across Michigan, to maintain control of their victims. These traffickers of drugs and sex need to take notice – it will no longer be business as usual in Michigan.”

The case stems from a coordinated effort between Schuette’s opioid trafficking unit and human trafficking unit, in conjunction with the FBI Oakland County Gang and Violent Crimes Task Force.

From the attorney general's office:

Case Background

The complaint filed by Schuette alleges that Melvin Niblett, Corey Cooper, Maurice Rushton, and Jasmin McGinnis engaged in an operation to sell drugs through the illicit sale of sexual services.

The case began in September 2016 when the joint FBI and Oakland County Gang and Violent Crimes task force received a tip that an individual was running a drug and prostitution operation in Madison Heights. While under investigation, Niblett and Cooper were caught selling drugs in Warren and charged in a separate but related case by the Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.  Niblett and Cooper were later released on bond.

In October 2016, police received a tip that Niblett was using rooms at a hotel in Southfield to conduct his drug and human trafficking operation. While dozens of individuals were involved, Niblett is alleged to have been at the top of the operation. Niblett and three others have been arrested and charged with a total of 24 felonies.

The charges and defendants break down as follows:

Maurice Rushton, 57, is charged with five felonies in connection with an opioid drug and human trafficking operation in Macomb and Oakland counties. (WDIV)

Melvin Niblett, Corey Cooper and Jasmin McGinnis are charged in the drug and human trafficking ring. (WDIV)

Melvin Niblett, 38, of Southfield is charged with 10 felonies:

  • One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or a $100,000 fine or both.
  • One count of Conspiracy to Deliver 1,000 or more Grams of Cocaine, Heroin, or other Narcotic, a felony punishable by imprisonment of life or any term of years or a $1,000,000 fine or both.
  • One count of Possession with Intent to Deliver less than 50 Grams of Cocaine, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or $25,000 or both.
  • One count of Possession with Intent to Deliver less than 50 Grams of Heroin, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or $25,000 or both.
  • Two counts of Forced Labor Services involving commercial sex, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 years.
  • One count of Forced Labor or Services Forced Labor or Services involving commercial sex, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 years.
  • Three counts of Prostitution/Accepted Earnings, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years.

Corey Cooper, 45, is charged with two felonies:

  • One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or $100,000 or both.
  • One count of Conspiracy to Deliver 1,000 or more Grams of Cocaine, Heroin, or other Narcotic, a felony punishable by imprisonment of life or any term of years or $1,000,000 or both.

Maurice Rushton, 57, is charged with 5 felonies:

  • One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or $100,000 or both.
  • One count of Human Trafficking - Financially Benefit From – involving commercial sex, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 years.
  • Three counts of Prostitution/Transporting Person, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years.

Jasmin McGinnis, 27, of Canton, is charged with seven felonies:

  • One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or $100,000 or both.
  • One count of Possession with Intent to Deliver less than 50 Grams of Cocaine, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or $25,000 or both.
  • One count of Possession with Intent to Deliver less than 50 Grams of Heroin, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years or $25,000 or both.
  • One count of Human Trafficking – Providing for forced labor – involving commercial sex, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 years.
  • Three counts of Prostitution/Accepted Earnings, a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 20 years.

Niblett, Cooper and McGinnis are in custody awaiting a preliminary examination scheduled for August, 21, 2017.  Rushton, who was apprehended in Ohio, is awaiting extradition proceedings there.

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