GHOST operatives arrest man at Davison hotel

DAVISON — A 22-year-old man has been arrested for attempting to meet a minor for sex at a Davison hotel.

Operatives with the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST) apprehended Austin Westcoat during a sting operation on Aug. 13. According to police, Westcoat came to the hotel to have sex with a 15-year-old boy, who was portrayed online by an undercover GHOST chatter.

During his conversations with the undercover operative, Westcoat said that he planned to bring powdered cocaine to the location.

Westcoat, a home healthcare worker from outside Genesee County, has been charged with three felonies, including two 20-year felonies and a four-year felony.

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said that Westcoat’s arrest shows how the GHOST task force is dedicated to arresting any individuals who attempt to engage in human trafficking or solicit sex from minors— including perpetrators inside and outside Genesee County. Elicit

“We want to make no place a safe haven for pedophiles and predators to prey on our young people and anyone who is vulnerable,” he said.

Swanson said that his department is also working actively with neighboring counties on joint operations and has even collaborated with state police departments outside Michigan to crack down on human trafficking and criminal sexual conduct.

Since it was founded in 2018, the GHOST task force has arrested over 70 individuals through sting operations and coordinated procedures with local police departments. — B.G.