Suspected human trafficker on ICE's 'Most Wanted' list arrested after years of evading capture

Suspected human trafficker on ICE's 'Most Wanted' list arrested after years of evading capture
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on Wednesday night arrested the suspected leader of a human trafficking and narcotics ring who had been on the agency’s Most Wanted list for years.

Darrick Bell, 50, was arrested south of Detroit after a nearly three-year-long manhunt, ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said in a statement. A woman was also reportedly arrested and faces drug charges.

Bell, a U.S. citizen whose nicknames are “Tone” and “Ghost,” had $12,000 and what appeared to be cocaine in his hotel room at an Econo Lodge.


"We're confident that Tone's capture will empower the survivors of his alleged acts, and embolden others who are facing similar circumstances to come forward, knowing that they will be fully supported and that their captors will face justice,” Steve Francis, the former ICE investigation unit’s acting special agent in charge, told CNN.

Bell allegedly conspired to give drugs to human trafficking victims as a means to control them and get them into the commercial sex industry, according to CNN, citing an indictment. He and other defendants are facing charges including sex trafficking, conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute drugs, among other charges.

Federal officials first got wind of Bell’s scheme in September 2016, when an alleged victim escaped a Detroit motel thought to be the location of an illegal operation, CNN reports. In January 2017, nearly 200 officials raided the motel, but Bell had escaped. He was added to the Most Wanted list.

More than 115 calls were made to the location of the motel for two homicides, as well as several shootings and aggravated assaults, ICE told CNN.

Authorities are still searching for people who allegedly helped Bell escape.