Alleged leader of Detroit trafficking operation arrested

Posted at 1:53 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 13:53:59-04

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say the alleged leader of a large sex- and drug-trafficking operation that was based in Detroit has been arrested following a 2½-year search.

Federal authorities say Homeland Security Investigations special agents and deputies with the U.S. Marshals Service arrested 50-year-old Darrick Bell on Wednesday evening at a motel in Monroe, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southwest of Detroit. They say he was found with nearly $12,000 and suspected cocaine.

The alleged trafficking operation was based at the now-demolished Victory Inn in Detroit. Authorities say Bell vanished before law enforcement broke up the operation in January 2017. Bell and several others were indicted on federal charges including human trafficking, drug trafficking and money laundering.

Authorities say the sophisticated criminal organization was using nearly all the rooms at the Victory Inn.