A Detroit man has been accused of taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures of children, and enslaving various women to sell for sex.
Ryon Travis was charged with production, possession and transportation or child pornography, in addition to sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. Travis faces up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the sex trafficking charges, according to The Detroit News,.
"Sex trafficking occurs all around us, and the victims are sometimes hiding in plain sight," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told Detroit Free Press.
"An educated public can help law enforcement rescue individuals in these situations and ensure those committing these acts are brought to justice," said Marlon Miller, Special Agent in Charge with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
According to federal court documents, Travis reportedly offered the women for sex through the Internet. Men then reportedly came to his home, picked the person they wanted, and paid Travis in cash.
At the time of his arrest, Travis had been living with four women whom he alleged were his wives. He has seven children, none of whom were in his custody.
"[Homeland Security Investigations] investigates a wide array of crimes, but the trafficking of women and girls is among the most sinister," Miller said. "Few crimes so damage their victims and undermine basic human decency."
Courts documents report that Travis was initially investigated for identity theft and fraud when West Bloomfield Police executed a search warrant on March 2. During the search, police say they found two cellphones, both of which contained child pornography.
A second search was conducted on March 21, during which a woman was reportedly found chained to a stripper pole. When interviewed, she told officials that she had been living in the house for the past two years and Travis chained her up because she tried to escape, reports Detroit Free Press. She also stated that Travis made her cash the $700 Social Security Disability check she received every month so he could take the money.
At a detention hearing on March 23, Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub ordered Travis to be detained at the prosecution’s request.
"You are a danger to children," Majzoub told the suspect. "You are a danger to women. And you are a danger to people who are helpless in your presence."