Suspects in Michigan Child Pornography Ring Allegedly Fed Victims THC-laced gummies

Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (G.H.O.S.T.)

Victims of a child pornography ring in Michigan were allegedly fed THC-laced gummies by their suspected abusers so that they could not resist, according to Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson.

Police say the four children, two of whom were ten years old, one fourteen, and one five, were sexually abused in a Burton county home by Joshua Buren Hippensteel, 45; Crystal Ann Benton, 42; and Nicholas Alan Dunn, 41, Grand Blanc View reported. Benton and Dunn were engaged and Hippensteel was living in the basement.

In 2022, Homeland Security and the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team, or G.H.O.S.T., began investigating Preston Allen Foster Creed-Boehm, 36, after pornography was sent from his Grand Blanc address, as reported by Click.

“What they did as four adults who were charged with taking care of children, they exploited the children. They groomed them. They drugged them. And they monetized their sexual acts,” Swanson said.

Videos and photographs of the children were sent to a Grand Blanc house — just a 15-minute drive away.

Investigators discovered that since 2018, Creed-Boehm has been using child pornography as digital currency on the dark web. Creed-Boehm was in a relationship with Hippensteel, according to authorities.

“They would use this house in Burton, which we believe was the epicenter of all the manufacturing, and the distribution was the Grand Blanc address,” Swanson said

Authorities believe more children have been victimized.

“There are some graphic details the investigators had to go over,” he said. “The gravity of what happened is so disgusting.”

Creed-Boehm is facing federal charges, and the other three are currently being held in Genesee County jail. Benton is the only one eligible for bail on a $300,000 cash bond.

This bust was largely attributed to Sheriff Swanson’s G.H.O.S.T. Since 2019, 152 sex offenders have been caught across the state, WCRZ reported. The task force has caught predators in 42 Michigan counties.

Along with the task force, Swanson created a training module for parents to learn how to navigate their child’s internet usage, particularly on apps like Instagram and TikTok.

“’The white van you speak of is actually (your child’s) cell phone,’ Swanson says, referring to vehicles notoriously driven by sexual predators in the past. ‘That’s the way you need to look at it,'” he told WOOD TV.

In 2021, 84.9 million images and videos of child pornography were reported by online platforms to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline, the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) website says.


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