2 men arrested in sex trafficking sting operation, sheriff’s office says
CASEVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WNEM/Gray News) – Two separate arrests were made on felony charges for sex crimes following a human trafficking sting operation in Michigan.
Authorities arrested 66-year-old Dennis Bales and 70-year-old Dale Ignash on Aug. 17 on suspicion of sex crimes and using a computer in the commission of a crime.
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.
When the suspects arrived at the undisclosed location, young deputy sheriff decoys were used 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 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 and vehicles.
The Huron County Prosecutor’s Office formally charged both men with three felony 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, 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 operation to occur in the future, Hanson said.
Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.