By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The start of the new year came with the demolition of the Victory Inn Motel at the Dearborn-Detroit border after a raid last January.
Starting on New Year’s Eve weekend construction company Direct Construction Services began the process of removing the motel where investigators found evidence of human sex trafficking, drug use and a drug ring.
Direct Construction Services’s owner Timothy Drakeford told WDIV Channel 4 that the motel’s owners contacted his company to complete the demolition.
Police executing a search warrant raided the hotel on Jan. 12 and uncovered the illegal activities. On Jan. 27, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert Colombo Jr. ordered the motel closed after the city of Detroit filed a lawsuit.
During a court appearance on March 21, Detroit resident Shelvie Avery, 51, was accused of selling drugs from a room at the motel and had eight women working for him at the time of the raid.
Investigators identified Avery after one of the women working for him provided them with information leading to the raid.
On March 29, the names of five other suspects listed in an indictment included Darrick Bell, Terry Pruitt, Harold Nero, Michael Randoland hotel clerk Janette Gaggo. All faced charges relating to the use of the motel as their main location to deliver and sell cocaine and heroin, and run a prostitution ring since September 2016.
The sex trafficking victims were interviewed by investigators and federal agents who gave details about the prostitution, drug use and distribution and the presence of guns.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])