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Joint sting operation nets six human trafficking arrests

Law enforcement have one message for those who seek to exploit children: "We are united and we're coming for you."

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — A group of sheriff's offices and other police departments on Wednesday announced a joint effort to track and arrest human traffickers. 

Their recent efforts lead to the arrest of six people who traveled to the area to have sex with children. 

Isabella, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola County Sheriffs’ Offices, the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and Ferris State University Department of Public Safety held a news conference Wednesday to share how they made the arrests happen. 

Mecosta County Brian Sheriff Miller said he reached out to another law enforcement agency in Michigan that had been successful in catching predators. 

In July, authorities on the east side of the state traveled to West Michigan to share their organization methods and how to build a joint taskforce team. 

In the first sting operation, authorities arrested 30-year-old Sonage Azard, Jeffery Webb, and Quinn Rasmussen. 

All three men are accused of traveling to Mecosta County to have sex with a 14 or 15-year-old girl. 

The second sting operation resulted in the arrests of a 34, 24, and 33-year-old men. 

These men are awaiting arraignments so law enforcement did not identify them by name. 

"It was smooth, seamless, and an outstanding operation," Newaygo County Sheriff Bob Mendham said. 

"No one got hurt, and three bad guys went to jail." 

Law enforcement said they plan to continue working together to keep the community safe from human traffickers. 

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