Michigan Attorney General warns of potential rise in crime ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

DETROIT – With an estimated 300,000-400,000 people coming to Downtown Detroit for the 2024 NFL Draft, Michigan’s Attorney General is keeping a close eye on what’s going on.

Dana Nessel’s team of investigators is looking for criminal activity by people looking to take advantage of the draft. She wants people who are up to no good to know that her team is on high alert.

“The last thing we want is for people who haven’t done their homework to come down here and just to think, ‘Well, I’ll take care of all that when I get there’ and then suddenly they’re being scammed,” Nessel said.

Related: How to get around Metro Detroit during the 2024 NFL Draft

Visitors can park in privately-owned lots, but Nessel warns scammers can take advantage of large events to sell parking spaces for lots they don’t have authority over. Drivers could be ticketed, towed or even have their vehicles stolen.

She said human trafficking cases could grow during the NFL Draft.

“There’s an entire task force that’s just there to investigate potential cases of human trafficking,” Nessel said.

Detroit is a prime location for human trafficking due to its proximity to an international border, but Nessel has a lot of partners aiming to help out during the NFL Draft.

“We’re talking about the feds, Homeland Security, the FBI, Michigan State Police, local law enforcement -- all working together just to combat human trafficking,” Nessel said. “We’re watching and we intend to be very aggressive about investigating and prosecuting these cases.”

Human trafficking warning signs include victims appearing malnourished and they may have signs of physical abuse or injuries. They often avoid eye contact and law enforcement.

You can find a full list of human trafficking warning signs on the Attorney General website, including additional tips for healthcare professionals, first responders, and hospitality workers -- who all have a greater chance of encountering a victim of trafficking directly.

More: Help Me Hank

About the Author

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.

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