tv Sex Slaves Addiction MSNBC February 8, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
oh, my god. >> where is your clothes at? don't move. stay in the seat until i get your clothes, okay? >> they go hand in glove. sex for sale and drug addiction. >> we arrest hundreds and hundreds of girls involved in prostitution. >> get your clothes on. >> and i would say only a handful are the ones that aren't involved with any kind of narcotic. >> did you find the heroin? >> yeah. >> that's probably the heroin right here. >> all across america, more and more women are turning to drugs like crack and heroin to kill the pain that comes with being bought and sold. msnbc goes undercover with
michigan's human trafficking task force. >> hey, are you taping me? >> for a sobering look at the overwhelming power of drug addiction in the business of sex for sale. >> and i thought that i could just, you know, do it once and stop. >> it's a growing epidemic that can touch anyone, even the all-american girl next door. >> this is going to sound crazy, but it's not that hard to go once you're using drugs from the point "a" to point "b" of selling yourself. i mean, because think about it, it's like, how are you going to get that much money daily when your addiction is going out of control and you're using so much of it? it's like, how are you going to get that money every day? ♪ >> it's a saturday night in detroit, and the city is jumping. the local economy is finally on the rebound, and people are out on the streets again looking to
celebrate and have a good time. to some, that means buying a woman for sex. >> hey, it's sanchez. >> state trooper richard sanchez is part of michigan's human trafficking task force. >> they say my girl is walking the track right now by telegraph and graham river, and what she's wearing is blue jeans and a black coat. she goes by honey. >> the task force combines the talents of federal, state and local investigators to combat michigan's growing underground sex trade. >> put your hands together like you're praying, okay? >> a lot of these girls have either ran away from home or not had the support at home or a lot of them feel they're not getting the attention at all at home. so, when they leave home, these predators, these pimps, they start to locate them, they manipulate them, they groom them and now they feel like they're loved, someone cares about them. whether it's mental, physical, emotional abuse, it's still some type of affection.
>> tonight, the team will be traveling from hotel to hotel. >> why don't we do 16 van dike up there? we have tons of motels. >> undercover officers set up dates with women. >> you see he's heading for the door. >> close-cover officers monitor the rendezvous by wire. >> knocking on the door, knocking on the door. >> and arrest teams move in once a deal for sex has been made. >> light. >> dang, can i get dressed? >> the first goal of the task force is to identify and rescue juveniles from traffickers. >> i'm not from here. >> how old are you? >> i'm not. i'm 18. >> you're lying. >> 18. >> in this case, the young woman we'll call nikki is 18, but she's not from detroit, and investigators suspect she's been trafficked. >> did you purchase the room or someone else purchase for you? how did it work? not a big deal. are they still here with you? >> no, i'm here by myself. i've been staying in the room
alone. >> police suspect nikki's pimp may be nearby, watching and waiting, but she is not about to give him up. >> it's a sad situation right now because these girls are basically brought into a hotel, separated from families or friends from any type of support group they may have and stay in a hotel waiting for the next call. >> $205. >> all right, before you go anywhere, is there anything that i need to be aware of that's in the room, any guns? >> no, no guns. the only thing -- >> there's no weed. >> no weed. there's some alcohol. in the fridge. >> okay. >> nikki tells police she was recently kicked out of her mother's house and is relatively new to the game. but without meaningful intervention, sanchez says girls like nikki are at high risk of developing substance abuse problems and drug addiction. >> the unfortunate reality of it is, is that we arrest hundreds and hundreds of girls involved in prostitution, and i would say only a handful are the ones that aren't involved with any type of narcotic. >> he says it looks like it's going to be on the back side of the building with the office.
>> just an hour after nikki's arrest in a cheap motel only blocks away, police found the all too common union of drugs and prostitution on full display. >> 115, right? [ knocking ] >> oh, my god. >> where's your clothes at? nope, don't move. just stay there in the seat until i get your clothes, okay? >> 33-year-old holly is no stranger to the game. >> what's going on? >> a resident of ohio, she's been in michigan for a month staying at various motels and posting online ads for sex. >> get your clothes on. >> a quick search of her room turns up condoms, $259 in cash and dozens of used syringes. >> holy! that's the most i've seen in forever. >> what do you use the needle for? do you have diabetes or anything? do you have medical problems or are you using it for other purposes? >> other purposes. >> okay. that's all i need to know. >> how many packs are you shooting a day? >> i'm -- just barely at all. nothing.
>> and you don't have any of that with you right now? >> i don't have any drugs. i just had needles. that's all. >> you have to have something here. >> i don't have any drugs. >> a thorough search of the room yields no drugs tonight. but police suspect holly's supplier may also be her pimp. >> a pimp here in the hotel? >> he's probably out here somewhere. >> you have pimps that will use drugs to control the girls quite a bit, and what they will do is they will supply the girl, get them hooked, say on heroin or cocaine or crack, and at that point, that girl is dependent on that drug. >> i'm going to take a photo of you, okay? >> a face shot, okay? >> so, it's like a vicious cycle where the girl is hooked, she needs the drugs. the pimp says, do this, and then i'll give you drugs. >> here's some of her girlfriends. >> among holly's belongings are dozens of photographs that show her in younger days along with companions, including an unknown male who may be her pimp. and in one shot, she appears naked on a bed, covered in money.
they're the fading mementos of a troubled, young woman who now uses heroin to cope. >> i would say that's common. if you think about it, that girl is about to have sex with a stranger for money, doesn't know if the guy's going to rob her. guys are violent sometimes, you know, on these dates, so that's a coping mechanism for them to just separate them self from their body, just to zone out to get through this. coming up, a mother of four struggles to feed her habit and her children. >> i mean, i don't approve of what you're doing here, but if you're going to do it, you got to be safe. >> my baby's birthday is tomorrow. hawaii. [ squeaking ] [ water dripping ] visit tripadvisor hawaii. [ whistling ] with millions of reviews, tripadvisor makes any destination better. ♪ with millions of reviews,
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it's saturday night in the motor city, and investigators with michigan's human trafficking task force are conducting undercover sting operations. >> oh, my god. >> where's your clothes at? nope, don't move. just stay right there in the seat until i get your clothes, okay? >> tonight's arrests begin to provide us with a rare and unsettling look at the chronic drug addiction that often goes hand in hand with life in the underground sex trade. >> holy! that's the most i've seen in forever. >> the unfortunate reality of it is that we arrest hundreds and hundreds of girls involved in prostitution. and i would say only a handful are the ones that aren't involved with any type of narcotic. >> get your clothes on. >> but as time goes on, these girls need that numbness or that fix in order to continue to go on from the work that they're doing. >> in countless hotels and motels up and down the broad boulevards of the motor city, the same scenario plays out tonight and every night. a young woman sits in the dark, drinking or even shooting dope,
trying to forget the last john and waiting for the next one. >> he's rolling in right now. see his brake lights. >> but sometimes that next date is actually an undercover cop. >> 219. >> all right, that's where we're going? >> the woman in room 219 is no stranger to police. >> i mean, i don't approve of what you're doing here -- >> i know, i understand. >> but if you're going to do it, you've got to be safe. >> my baby's birthday is tomorrow. it really is. whatever. >> she is 32-year-old crystal manuel, a mother of four with a long history of prostitution and drug charges. >> she has indicated to us she started when she was underage, unfortunately. she didn't come from a very strong family background. she started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and unfortunately, she got hooked up with a gentleman that she thought was her boyfriend. now he's her pimp. >> hey, i'm from livonia. yeah. i'm from livonia. my kids. four of them. four of them.
>> tonight police find her intoxicated and a search of her room yields crack cocaine and a makeshift pipe. >> with crystal, unfortunately, i think narcotics plays a huge role along with alcohol. i mean, she's just trying to put food on the table for her children because she's not getting any support from anybody. and in order for her to do that, in order for her to cope with what she has to do on a daily basis, she resorts to narcotics. >> been drinking a little bit tonight? it's okay. i just want to make sure you're okay. >> my baby's birthday is tomorrow. >> you want to see your baby? >> i'm good. >> if you want to see your baby, we can make that happen. >> i'm good. i'm good. >> we can make it happen. >> detective sanchez might be willing to cut crystal a break in exchange for information about her pimp, a man named gregory smith, also known as g. >> are you still working with g.? >> g., no. >> you got rid of that guy finally? >> i have a baby by him. >> i know you got the baby by him. >> i think the money is going back to the pimp. she'll deny it. every time we encounter with her, she'll deny that she has a pimp, that she's working for g.
or anyone else. but he has mentally, physically and emotionally abused her in so many ways. she has a child by him, so there is still that connection there. >> he texted me earlier today, said he should have left me in jail. >> who said that? >> g. >> crystal and g. were caught up in the 2007 murder of a juvenile named kathleen jasmine han. crystal arranged an out-call date for the girl, and g. delivered her to the john's apartment, where she was tortured and killed. while the teen's killer got life in prison, jasmine's trafficker was never punished. >> are we ready to talk about that yet? >> it don't matter. >> you know all about it. >> i know all about it. >> why haven't you talked to us, then? >> it's not my problem. >> investigators are working to build a federal trafficking case against g. and want crystal to cooperate. >> i know who you are. you're not a bad person. you're not a bad person at all.
i think you got hooked up with g. when you were too young. >> no. >> when you were young? come on. >> no. >> he's not good news. you know that. >> but crystal is not about to give up g. tonight. in the jargon of the underground sex trade, she remains true to the game. >> the girls would deny that they have any type of pimp. they're just doing it for themselves. they don't want to see him get in trouble, and they don't want to have the repercussions of what he can do to them if they do give him up. so, we still see that they're continuously scared to testify against these pimps. >> he's not good for you. >> no. i know -- >> he's not. you deserve better than this. you know you do. i know you do. these guys take advantage of these girls, play their little game with them. then what happens to the guys? nothing. the girls have to go to jail all the time. they don't deserve it. they've got babies to take care of, because daddy's not taking care of the babies. >> because they don't never.
>> you're right. exactly. daddy is not taking care of babies. they take advantage of you guys. you guys are like, whatever you say, g. you know who i'm talking about. >> don't matter who you're talking about. yep. because when they leave, i'm like, hey -- >> if you never hooked up with him, you'd never be in this situation. >> and i'm like hey, yeah, here i go. baby. changing the diapers and -- >> there you go, exactly. you're the one doing all the work. >> here i go. yep. >> you are. i know you are. >> yep. >> where is he, out smoking some weed? >> i don't know. >> banging some other chick? >> right. >> exactly. you know that. yet, you're the one who has to go to jail. >> yep. >> we always protect him for some ungodly reason. >> right. >> because he's the nicest guy in the whole world. >> no. i ain't talked to him in years. >> makes you take care of the babies, makes you do everything. doesn't pay for the babies. and you're out here working, trying to make ends meet just to be able to feed the baby.
i know you're not a bad girl. >> although crystal has not been legally punished for her role in jasmine's death, detective sanchez says women like crystal cannot escape the sort of day-to-day sentence that often comes with life in the underground sex trade. >> they don't know where to go. they don't know who to turn to. they don't know who to trust. they've been beaten down so long, make them feel like they're nonexistent. so, they're just looking for some way, somehow for somebody to help them, and you can't always do that unless they want to help themselves, and that's where we get stuck. not a lot of them want to go that extra mile or get away with their comfort zone, because now they've lived with that life so long, that's their comfort zone. that's no place to go. you run into that quite a bit. did you found the heroin? >> yep. >> up next, addiction can touch anyone, even the all-american girl next door.
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lights. >> dang, can i get dressed now? >> tonight, investigators with michigan's human traffic ing task force have shown us how life in the underground sex trade can easily lead girls and young women into a bitter downward spiral of alcohol abuse and drug addiction. >> been drinking a little bit tonight? it's okay. i just want to make sure that you're okay. you working with gracie, baby? >> i'm not working with anybody. >> gracie's stuff here. >> who's gracie? >> you know grace. >> no, i don't. >> police suspect 30-year-old grace, crystal's roommate, may also be selling sex out of the room. >> okay. there's a white female here probably roaming around with dark brown hair. she's probably about 5'1", maybe about 5'2". >> yeah, i have a girl from the motel to the dunkin' donuts. she's inside on the phone.
this has got to be her. can you bring the i.d. over here? >> grace, what are you doing why are you hanging out in this room with crystal? >> i let her use my room. >> why? >> i don't know. >> what's going on? who are you working with now? >> nobody! >> was that cocaine in your purse? >> in my purse? >> there was some cocaine. >> in what purse? >> in the room. >> in what purse? >> we don't know. they're going to find out which one's yours. >> where are we going? >> where did you go last time? >> downtown detroit. >> that's where you're going this time. >> for what? >> grace is no stranger to detectives. >> come on, now, sanchez. you know me. i'm not no drug addict. you want to piss test me? >> why are you still working? >> i'm not, sanchez. >> just be real with me. are you working the track anywhere? >> yeah. >> okay, you're just working the hotels? >> yeah. >> you're going to be straight with me finally? see, this can be done. >> i wasn't working today. i'm sick. >> you're sick today. >> although grace admits to being a little drunk, she did not break any laws, and police cut her loose.
>> you know, you're lucky i like you, grace. >> come on, sanchez. >> but grace, if i catch you, next time you're going, you understand that, right? >> yes, sir. i understand. >> police say cases like crystal's, where women slide from prostitution into drug addiction are all too common. while she is bound, yet again, for jail, the task force moves on to their next target. >> conversing with this female through e-mails. she posted on the casual encounters, possibly just to save money on craigslist. >> an undercover has made an outcall date with a woman who cleverly posted under craigslist casual encounters, rather than an online ad for sex. >> we're going to try to do an outside date before they have to go in, and she wants to get a room here. once he makes the deal outside, we'll go and arrest her. >> he's making his approach. tell her to get out. >> outside a quiet suburban motel, close cover officers
eyeball the rendezvous, while arresting officers move in slowly, waiting for the good deal signal to make the bust. >> she agreed, she's out of his ride. count the money. good deal, good deal. >> the woman selling herself is a 20-something college student we'll call dana. upon arrest, she tries in vain to thwart investigators from looking inside her car by hiding her keys in her pants. >> where are those keys? you didn't throw them. you have them crotched or something? do you have the keys on you hidden? >> no. >> she's saying they're right up here. i didn't see her throw them. >> through the conversation with her, she concealed the keys from us and she concealed her phone, which made us believe that there's something in the vehicle she doesn't want us to see. >> so, what's your deal? what's going on? what are your concerns? talk to me. >> i'm doing this because i have a drug problem. >> so you have drugs in the car, no big deal. okay? did you find the heroin?
>> yep. >> she says she's got a bunch of heroin in here. >> that's probably heroin right here. >> inside dana's car, police find what they say is $300 worth of heroin and three syringes. it's just enough of a fix to get the young woman through the night. >> i can take the photo real quick, and then we'll go on from there. what's going on with you that you're getting so addicted to it? that's our main concern. you don't appear to be the girl that needs to be on that stuff. >> okay? >> i know. that's why i'm doing this because i'm addicted to it and, you know -- >> how long have you been out here? >> what do you mean? >> involved in prostitution? >> almost a year. since last january. >> that's where you're feeding the addiction? she's been involved in prostitution for about a year. and she has an addiction problem with heroin, and she feeds that addiction through prostitution. >> back at the state police post, dana confesses she's been fighting heroin addiction for over two years. >> so, what got you started in prostitution?
>> just paying for it. you know, my habit, it grew so out of control. >> with a $300-a-day habit, it's a battle she's losing. >> heroin, especially, especially heroin, i mean, it just changes your brain, you know, how you think. i mean, when you don't have it, you feel like you're dying almost. like your body tricks itself. it's like you have to have it or else you're not going to live anymore, like you're dying. >> unusually articulate, educated and self-aware, officers are surprised to learn dana's downward spiral from honor student to addict to prostitute began with a sports injury. >> i had a really bad rotator cuff and i was at the point where i could, you know, keep playing but i was, like, basically putting a bandage over it, taking, you know, like painkillers, vicodin, prescribed to me and oxycontin because it got so bad that i had to take them to play. >> dana says she graduated to
heroin when her health insurance ran out and she could no longer afford prescription drugs. in the cold quiet of her jail cell, struggling without heroin and facing charges, dana realizes she has hit rock bottom. i had scholarship offers from, i mean, i can't even count how many universities. i mean, i could have basically played sports anywhere that i wanted to. their dentures look clean, in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope, we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture, and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly. that's why dentists recommend cleaning with polident everyday. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. for a cleaner, fresher, brighter denture everyday.
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i'm richard lui with your top stories 679 bruce jenner has released a statement since being involved in a crash yesterday that killed a woman. jenner said, quote, my deepest later felt sympathies go out to the loved ones. new england is getting hit by a major winter storm. it's starting with light snow but is expected to intensify tonight, bringing up to two feet of snow by the time it's over on tuesday morning. now back to msnbc undercover.
there is nothing more shocking than understanding that this young woman, who we will call dana, was a highly recruited college athlete just a few short years ago. at dana's request, we refrain from mentioning specifics. >> i had scholarship offers from i mean, i can't even count how many universities. i mean, i could have basically played sports anywhere that i wanted to. and that's why i'm doing this. i have a drug problem. >> okay. >> we met dana at what she now admit was the lowest part of her life, strung out on heroin and selling her body for cash. >> find the heroin? >> yep. >> dana was arrested in a federal sting aimed at rescuing trafficked girls. >> she was not a typical case. she was an independent. she had not worked for a pimp. she had a little bit of heroin with her. she was reluctant to assist us at first because she was scared. >> between tears and the lockup, the former student admitted
being addicted to heroin after a devastating sports injury. she told our cameras this was not the life she had planned. >> you know, i was just a really happy-go-lucky kid, you know, outgoing, had a lot of friends. you know, played a lot of sports, was really active. >> raised in rural michigan, dana personified the all-american girl. studious and athletic, dana wasn't just good, she was exceptional. >> i was always a bright child. you know, very athletic. anything i picked up i excelled at very quickly. >> looking back now, dana says the punishing physical grind and pressure to succeed as a star athlete led her to abuse alcohol. >> you train rigorously. you're playing sports seven days, six days a week, you know, and that's hours-long practices, you know, and tournaments and, you know, just different training sessions. you know, weight lifting, you know, running, everything.
and it's just, it kind of consumes your life. >> big ten schools and duke came calling, offering dana full athletic scholarships, but she says she started to rebel and chose to stay close to home. >> by the time i got to college, i was just like, you know, i want to hang out and have fun with my friends, you know? it felt like a job almost at the time. the enjoyment was gone. the fun in it was gone. it was so serious, you know, because at that point, it's all about paying for your school. >> after a shoulder injury and with her scholarship on the line, dana started self-medicating to play through the pain. >> you know, my body started to hurt. my knees were hurting. my back was hurting. you know, i'd be in so much pain, i started taking ibuprofen all the time. and then that started escalating into like vicodin and stuff like that. >> after a year of prescription drug and alcohol abuse, dana entered rehab only to meet an addict who introduced her to heroin. >> you know, i tried heroin one
time and that was it. it was a wrap. i don't even know how to describe it. you know, it felt like any pain, any hurt in my life, anything negative when i did it, it was just gone. >> these are kids that grow up in great households, stable households. >> dana's story isn't shocking to scott macy, who says he counsels many high-achieving young women and men who have sold themselves for drugs. >> heroin addiction or opiate addiction is a physical as well as a mental, you know, and it's what we consider a brain disease. >> a former addict, scott macy knows firsthand the devastating impact of what is known as chasing the dragon. like dana, he lived a double life, going back and forth from his white-collar job to detroit's east side to feed his addiction. >> addiction just takes over any type of thought process, any type of -- you know, just takes over their life. and you know, it's just an
obsession of the mind. >> dana says her $20-a-day fix quickly escalated to a $300-a-day habit. transforming her into a vulnerable fiend. >> a drug dealer who had been very fond of me kind of made me an offer i couldn't refuse where he said, i'll give you "x" amount of drugs if you let me, you know, sleep with you. >> the memories of selling herself remain a source of trauma for dana. >> the first time was obviously really hard on me, you know. i was so upset, you know. i was crying afterwards. i felt so weird. you know, and i remember sitting in the shower for, like, a half hour after just, you know, crying like, you know, what am i doing? you know, am i going crazy? >> those who are open about their sex work experience, i would say it's about 95% also admit some sort of drug addiction. >> the trafficking survivors that she counsels says that pimps and drug dealers use the
powerful need for drugs to enslave women. >> drugs cause physical addiction. your body goes through withdrawals. so even if the pimp is nowhere near them, the physical need for the drug overwhelms any urge to leave or to report that pimp, to go home, any of that, because they have this physical addiction. and it's not like they can go up to cvs and say, "may i please have some heroin?" >> once i saw, you know, how much money, the drugs i had made from it, it was, that hushed any concern or any negative feelings i had towards it, you know, because there was no other way that i could get that amount of drugs for, you know, doing anything else. >> you are aware of all the parties that are going on? >> yeah. they have them all over. >> the night she was arrested, dana told investigators about an underground network where men buy women without fear of police detection. >> i ended up meeting a man from
craigslist who knew about kind of like this underground almost, like, society, if you will, of men that created an online website where the girls would go there, and, you know, post, and people could call you and set up, you know, a date with you. >> these are kind of like a secret society type of websites, where the average person has to apply to gain access into the society. and you basically fill out a form on the internet, and they do actually do a background check on you through the information that you provide to them, and it's very difficult to get into these websites. >> and what kind of men frequent the secret society? >> a lot of married men. you know, and that messed with trust issues with me, too, with trusting people. i mean, you look at that and you see that, you know, just like the deception there and sometimes hearing people that you're with, you know, like, calling their wives as they're in the room with you. oh, honey, i'm at the grocery
store. i'll be home in about an hour. and it's like, in my head, now you're going to sleep with me and you just got off the phone with your wife? you know, i dealt with that a lot. that was very, very, very hard. >> polecchicio says despite the mystique, there is nothing sexy about women who are bought online. >> it's hardly glamorous. it's violent and it's ugly and it's quick and it's nameless and it's hurtful. >> fighting to stay clean remains a daily struggle for dana. with the support of her family, she's made the difficult decision to go public in order to help other struggling teens. >> my real hope is that from my experiences, you know, if i could help one person that's maybe teetering on the edge of addiction, you know, and trying, you know, a harder drug or maybe someone that is already addicted, maybe thinking of selling themselves, you know, to help them maybe step back from that, you know, would make me feel like everything i went
through wasn't for nothing. coming up, a wake-up call for a young woman being recruited by a pimp. >> well, you've got to come get me. they're not going to let me go unless you come get me. you have to come get me. da-apprd jublia! jublia is a prescription medicine proven to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. once applied, jublia gets to the site of infection by going under, around, and through the nail. most common side effects include ingrown toenail, application-site redness, itching, swelling, burning or stinging, blisters, and pain. tackle it! ask your doctor now if new jublia is right for you.
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while some women like dana might be able to operate in the underground sex trade without a pimp, police say a case like hers is not the norm. >> she was not a typical case. she was an independent. and a lot of these girls think they're independent, but one way or another, they're going to be around a pimp. and it may start out, i'm going to start posting myself, but it doesn't end that way. always a pimp involved, one way or another. >> police say it's not uncommon
for some pimps to require their working girls not only to sell sex acts for money, but also to recruit other girls to join the stable. >> these two young ladies are doing incalls, duos. >> how come there are two? >> i think this young lady is teaching that young lady. >> okay. >> we witnessed a case like that in a sting at an upscale hotel in the suburbs of detroit. >> how much was it for a twofer? >> $250 today. but that was a surprise. i thought that was going to be one young lady here, and i walked in and there was two. >> does that happen a lot? >> not really. >> at 19, police say this young woman named april is actually the experienced one. she's familiar to the task force from a prior arrest when the team also nabbed her pimp, a 32-year-old man named jason. >> who is this guy over here? >> on that sting, they met with the undercover officer. once the girl had the money, she actually slipped the money up under the door to jason. he picked up the money. he was detained in the stairwell
by the arrest team with a laptop on him and our undercover money. >> tonight, police say jason was using april to break in this new recruit, a 23-year-old we'll call laurie. >> she tried to convince me her friend was okay, that she was cool and that she was there to have a good time as well. again and, the other girl at this point is moving around the room. she looked nervous. looked out of place. it was evident to me this was probably her first rodeo, so to speak. she was very out of place. >> back at the state police post, investigators separate the women for further questioning. >> hey, how you doing? you want to give a statement? you want to talk to me? >> no. >> not at all? >> no. >> how come? >> because i don't want to talk. i want my lawyer. >> okay. not a problem. >> tonight, april takes the fifth, but her friend, laurie, is ready to talk. she tells police that she was unwittingly tricked into the in-call situation by april and her pimp, jason.
>> she was told she would just answer the calls, but then she was encouraged to watch, and then, you know, if she felt like she could, that she was supposed to get involved. and she was upset about it, you know, felt awful about it. >> police say that young women like laurie usually don't fall into prostitution overnight. it's often a process that takes a lot of time and a lot of smooth talk from so-called romeo pimps like jason. >> pimps will take months to groom a girl because they know towards the end, that girl is going to be selling her body for them. they're going to make money from that, so they will take them out to dinner, they will say i have feelings for you. they will buy them gifts and all that. they might start off slow, hey, i have other girls doing that, i just need you to, say, answer the phones and just look out for her. you don't have to have sex, but at some point that's going to change.
>> tonight jason was arrested outside the hotel room that he rented for april and laurie. but he does his best to convince detectives and our cameras that tonight's run-in with the law is just one big misunderstanding. >> what happened to you tonight? >> apparently, somebody that was in a room that i rented out did something wrong, and the fact that it was my room is the reason i came down here. >> do you think you were wrongly brought down here? >> i definitely believe i was -- i didn't do anything wrong. i wasn't, i mean, if something went wrong in the room or whatever, i wasn't there. it's just the fact it was my room. that's what i got brought down here for. >> jason's on-camera performance is just one example of a pimps's capacity for smooth talk and lies, as he seeks to put distance between himself and the girls. >> that's typical. most pimps will distance themselves from the room or the girls and act like they don't know them.
>> we have to see what evidence might be in the cell phone and the connection between the cell phone. >> sergeant ed price says romeo pimps like jason often have a natural talent for manipulating and deceiving vulnerable young women. >> it's just like a sports player. some guys are good at hitting a baseball. some guys are good at jump shots. these guys are good at lying to females, or just lying in general. >> i'm not a human trafficker, that's for sure. i'm not really sure too much why i'm here right now. >> really? >> yeah, i'm not. >> do you know what human trafficking is? >> i believe that human trafficking is, you know, forcing people under age to do some things sexual for money or something, or forced just to do anything. >> this is a good effort. that should be stopped. that's terrible. i don't understand, you know, where people that don't have anything to do with that is just kind of washed up in the whole mix. i don't understand it, you know, but it is what it is. >> i think the reason that you
were brought down is because the girls in your room, one of them i guess is your girlfriend? >> mm-hmm. >> they made an appointment with an undercover officer to have sex with him for money. >> see, i didn't know that. i don't believe that. you know, until i talk to who was involved -- and i don't know what was going on. i wasn't there. and so, that's bizarre to me. somebody that would be my girlfriend would do something like that. i don't know who was there, what was going on. i don't know if you have the right person or as far as who's my girlfriend. >> jason's ongoing effort to play dumb for our cameras is finally thrown aside when police release his girl, april. >> so, is this your girlfriend? >> yeah. what's wrong? >> and just like you saw, he told you all those things, and then when it's time to leave at the end of the night with their tickets, that they walked out together. >> well, you've got to come get me. because they're not going to let
me go unless you come get me. you have to come get me. >> as far as laurie's concerned, police hope tonight's trip to jail will make her think twice before hanging out with friends like april and jason ever again. >> we're going to let you sit in here, because you have to -- >> my take on it is she's got an acquaintance. she's got the bad friend that every parent worries about, the bad friend that makes the bad decisions. and you'd like to think that, yeah, this did change her. >> i feel like this is going to be a good night for her, because she's going to hopefully get a wake-up call, hopefully realize what a dangerous road this is and kind of see the error of her ways. up next -- >> hey, are you taping me? >> -- neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night shall save these troubled souls from working to feed their desperate need for drugs. >> how powerful is that addiction? >> very. often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications.
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for those who wonder what ultimately happens to exploited women once they can no longer make big money for their pimps, investigators say look no further than the local prostitution track. >> this area has a lot of drug activity, a lot of prostitution going on. >> every city has one, and it's haunted by ghostly women and shattered lives. >> unfortunately, the ones who work out on the street are just trying to basically survive. >> here on detroit's john r. stroll, it only takes investigators a minute to spot desperate women out in the rain and trolling for dates. >> hey, you taping me? >> what's going on? >> slow, slow, slow. >> is it slow today? >> real slow. >> everything okay out on the streets, though? >> yeah, ain't nothing out here! it is what it is. >> unfazed by law enforcement or
our cameras, the woman speaks openly about her work. >> you got young girls out here? >> how young? >> we're talking young, young. >> i'm the oldest one out here. >> we're talking babies. anybody under 18? >> not that i know of. >> detectives suspect this woman is probably out here in the rain today to feed a serious drug addiction. >> i would probably lean toward crack or heroin for her. just her face, the loss of teeth. >> how addictive is crack over time? >> your first hit, you can get addicted to crack. it's highly addictive. >> many of these abandoned houses often serve as drug dens, dolling out all manner of vices to feed a junkie's habit. >> well, sometimes they'll sell dope out of the vacant homes. that way, if the police come by, they don't have any connection with that house. sometimes they'll, you know, live somewhere on the block, but
they'll store their dope in a vacant house. >> vacant houses can even serve as makeshift brothels, where dealers pimp out female addicts who perform sex acts out in the open in full view of others. >> in some crack houses, even, there are women who are sold as just extra to the drugs. you buy the drug, you get a woman, and they're just in there. and the idea is that they keep the women high, so that they're just there as the extra large fries with the milkshake, if you will. >> somebody on this porch sitting, just out enjoying the weather a little bit. >> just a few minutes later, detectives spot another woman out for a stroll in the pouring rain. >> what are you doing, sweetheart? >> nothing. >> nothing? not at all? no fun? >> a little bit. >> a little bit? how much? >> i don't really want to say. >> at first, the woman is understandably wary of those clean-cut men in suits with
michigan state police lapel pins. but what follows is a compelling bit of cat-and-mouse that speaks volumes about the overwhelming power of drug addiction. >> are you a cop? >> do i look like a cop? >> no. yeah, i don't know. >> you got a place around here? >> i got a room, actually. >> where at? >> hotel. >> do you? which one? down here? how far is that? >> two blocks. >> what's the name of it? >> what room number? >> i don't know. you can't -- sorry. >> visibly nervous, the woman gets suspicious and hurries away, but after one more trip around the block, she's ready to make a deal. >> i'll tell you, these girls are in a situation where they need money, and sometimes they don't think. >> okay. i'm soaked. let's go to the room. >> you want to go to the room? >> yeah. >> you are good with that? you're good with that? just me? or do both at different times or just one at a time? one at a time? all right. >> i'm doing a documentary on addiction and trafficking of young girls.
so, i just wanted to ask you about why you would be out here in the pouring rain and the hail working. >> it's okay, just be honest. you're okay, sweetheart. >> i don't want to get you in trouble. am i going to get you in trouble? >> i have an addiction. >> how bad is it? >> well, i'm not on heroin or anything, but you know, i left my family and dropped out of college and nursing school about six months ago, so -- >> you were in nursing school? >> mm-hmm. >> how powerful is that addiction? >> very. >> and then, did you have children? >> yeah, four. >> and where are they now? >> they're grown. they live down south. i never used drugs when i was pregnant. >> at 41, this mother of four says she's been out on the streets for about a year and admits her addiction to crack leaves her powerless to change. >> i would do it, but i just can't hardly -- i don't want to go to jail or rehab. i've already done that, but i just can't seem to get over the
hump. but a lot of my friends have been killed out here. >> really? from what? >> dates. people. i have a girlfriend that was shot in the -- i was with her that night. she was shot in the head a few weeks ago. >> who was she shot by? a john? >> i don't know the person. i know what he looks like, but i don't know him. >> was it a date? uh-huh. >> or was it a pump? >> no, there's no such thing as pumps, really, out here? you're all out on your own. >> hopefully, if somebody grabs you. you don't want nobody to grab you. they hurt you and beat you and take your money. >> so somebody killed your girlfriend? >> uh-huh. >> were you with her. >> that night i was.
and i didn't want to go where she went. she went, and she was killed when she got there. >> although the unsolved murder of her friend still terrifies her, the woman says the need for crack-cocaine keeps her out on the streets. >> you know, if people weren't so harsh, if they helped you to get off of it instead of trying to force you, maybe you could make it. my advice is don't ever try anything, not even a little. even if you're uncomfortable, just get through it. thank you so much. good luck with that. >> take care. >> good luck to you. >> as the woman disappears into the downpour, we are reminded of dana, who also walked these desperate streets, hungry for her next fix. but today, dana says that staying sober is the only way to stay off the street. >> it's a fight, but i mean, it's a fight worth fighting for, you know, to stay clean. and i am aware of that. i just really hope i can continue forward and just, you
know, don't ever go back to it \s on the streets of detroit someone is hunting and killing young women two at a time. >> we have four homicides, of which a serial pattern is developing. >> the first set of women were found on december 19th, dead in the trunk of a car on promenade street. >> it was extremely brutal. >> i'm just tired of us losing our children. >> lurking in the online ads for sex. >> is this kim? >> and luring the unsuspecting to a rendezvous with death. >> hey, how are you doing?