Northern Michigan man found guilty of sex crimes in human trafficking case


ROSCOMMON, MI – A Northern Michigan man was found guilty of three charges and faces up to life in prison for holding a woman against her will and forcing her to clean and perform sexual acts.

On Jan. 10, Michigan State Police troopers were called to assist with an alleged human trafficking case, MSP said in a news release.

Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office had a woman in custody for stealing a vehicle. She claimed to have escaped from a Crawford County residence where two men had forced her to clean and perform acts of prostitution, police said. The victim was held against her will for a few days after being transported from Ypsilanti. She also alleged the men were dealing drugs at the residence, police said.

The suspects were identified as James Manford Jarrell and Jeffrey Allen Kobel, both 50-year-old Roscommon residents, police said.

A search warrant was executed by MSP Emergency Support Team, Strike Team Investigative Narcotics Group, MSP canine, MSP Houghton Lake Post and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, police said. Both suspects were arrested.

Last week, Jarrell was found guilty in a circuit court trial of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, felonies punishable by up to life imprisonment; and one count unlawful imprisonment, a felony punishable by up to 15 years and/or a $20,000 fine, police said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.

Kobel is awaiting trial on one count of unlawful imprisonment and habitual offender third offense, police said. His bond was set at $25,000 or 10% cash surety.

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