© 2024 WNMU-FM
Upper Great Lakes News, Music, and Arts & Culture
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Three nabbed in Houghton County child trafficking sting

HOUGHTON, MI— The Houghton County Sheriff's Office has arrested three Copper Country residents, following a several-week investigation by a human trafficking task force.

The adult males chatted online with undercover deputies who were posing as minors and were subsequently arrested when they arrived at a location to have sex with a minor.

Taken into custody were Peter Hallesy, 38, of Kearsarge; Juan Marin, 47, of Hancock; and Trenton Kyllonen, 36, of Lake Linden.

Each was charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with child sexually abusive activity, use of a computer to commit child sexually abusive activity, accosting a child for immoral purposes, and using a computer to commit a crime.

The task force is a multi-county effort comprised of members of the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office, Baraga County Sheriff’s Office, Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office, and Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office. The operation was also assisted by the Hancock City Police Department.

The task force also partners with the Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force, a nonprofit NGO that set forth the following goal: to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases at the local, state, and federal levels.

Sheriff Joshua Saaranen said he “Appreciates the collaboration between the four-county sheriff’s and the local municipal police agencies. We’re working together to not only take predators into custody but to also make sure that there are strong avenues for individuals and victims to receive advocacy and help.”

If you or a loved one have been harmed by any one of these three individuals, please come forward and contact the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office at (906) 482-0055.

A 24/7 confidential helpline, operated by the UPHTTF is available to the public to call for advocacy and help (906) 299-9243 or www.upht123.org.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.