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No bond for Greenville man charged with human trafficking, extortion, fraud

In mid-January 2017, in conjunction with HSI, the assigned detective began receiving tips about possible victims of human trafficking. A subsequent investigation quickly led investigators to Michael Anthony Ruiz, age 53, of North Calhoun Street in Greenville, S.C. (Photo credit: Greenville Police Department)

A Greenville, S.C. man has been arrested for human trafficking and is being held on no bond.

In late 2016, the Greenville Police Department joined the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Task Force by assigning a detective to investigate crimes related to federal and state human trafficking laws.

In mid-January 2017, in conjunction with HSI, the assigned detective began receiving tips about possible victims of human trafficking. A subsequent investigation quickly led investigators to Michael Anthony Ruiz, age 53, of North Calhoun Street in Greenville, S.C.

Investigators determined that Ruiz was representing himself to different individuals as an immigration officer and police officer who could help them with their legal status and provide them with legal documents in exchange for money.

The investigation revealed that Ruiz, who was introduced to his victims through word of mouth, extorted more than $70,000 from six victims of his fraudulent representation.

Ruiz is currently being held in the Greenville County Detention Center on no bond and is charged with the following offenses:

  • trafficking first offense - four counts
  • blackmail or extortion - four counts
  • obtaining signature or property under false pretenses - four counts
  • impersonating an officer to secure property - four counts
  • impersonating a law enforcement officer - one count
  • financial identity fraud - two counts
  • alteration/sale of fictitious license - one count
  • conspiracy - one count

Anyone who thinks Michael Ruiz may have victimized them is asked to call the Greenville Police Department at 864- 271-5333.

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