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Kalamazoo man arrested; suspected of human trafficking

Posted: 1:23 PM, May 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-11 20:11:01-04
Joe Lee (Courtesy: Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Dept.)

Joe Lee (Courtesy: Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Dept.)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A Kalamazoo man has been arrested for suspicion of human trafficking.

The Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team arrested the man Tuesday.  32-year-old Joe Lee faces charges of Human Trafficking and Transporting a Person for Prostitution.  He was arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

Police say they were responding to citizen complaints of prostitution and narcotics in the 5000 block of 9th Street in Oshtemo Township.  During the investigation, police say they contacted four women about prostitution and all four admitted to police to being drug users and that they had been forced into the sex trade.  During one of the interviews, police say that Lee had taken one of the women to a meeting location and had physically forced her into prostitution.  Lee was found and arrested while waiting for the woman in a parking lot.

The four women have been released from custody and been given contact information for programs and assistance for victims of human trafficking and drug addiction.

Anyone with further information should call KVET at 269-337-8880 or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.