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Man caught in human-trafficking sting gets almost 8 years in prison

A man arrested in a human-trafficking sting conducted by a tri-county task force in August will serve a minimum of almost eight years in prison after pleading no contest to three felonies in September.

Huron County 52nd Circuit Court Judge Gerald M. Prill sentenced Dennis Michael Bales on Monday morning to seven years, 11 months to 20 years on the charge of child sexually abusive activity or material; seven years, 11 months to 20 years for using a computer to commit a crime; and 23 months to four years for accosting a child for immoral purposes. The sentences will run concurrently.

Bales pleaded no contest to all three charges on Sept. 26. He had previous convictions in St. Clair County for solicitation of gross indecency in 2003 and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2008.

“That should have been a wakeup call,” Prill said just prior to Monday’s sentencing.

On Aug. 18, Huron County Prosecutor Tim Rutkowski charged Bales, 66, of Port Huron, with three felony counts stemming from an operation initiated by the Huron County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Sanilac and Tuscola County sheriff’s offices, the Sanilac County Drug Task Force and the Bad Axe Police Department, and with advisory assistance from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office’s Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team.

According to an Aug. 18 press release from Hanson, the operation was conducted from an undisclosed location in Caseville Township and utilized internet sex and prostitution sites.

“The suspects would literally ‘shop’ these sites, then reach out believing they were communicating and arranging a meeting with an underage sex participant,” Hanson said in August. “However, they were actually reaching out and communicating with our tri-county team. When (the suspect) arrived at the undisclosed location, young deputy sheriff decoys were utilized by being visible in order to satisfy suspicions and curiosities of the suspects. (The suspect) acknowledged wanting to have sex with an underage male.”

Rutkowski wanted to thank Sheriff Kelly Hanson and the Huron County Sheriff’s Office for leading the operation as well as the Sanilac and Tuscola County sheriff’s offices, the Sanilac County Drug Task Force and the Bad Axe Police Department for their assistance in resolving this case.

“My office will continue to work with to ensure that our community is kept safe from those who participate in activities that are harmful, abusive, and predatory to our children,” Rutkowski said in a press release. 

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original location.

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PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

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EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.