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1 of two suspects in Wayland intercourse trafficking ring ordered to trial

ALLEGAN, me. (WOOD) – An Allegan County judge has ruled that there is enough evidence to stand a woman on trial for allegedly helping run a sex trafficking ring out of Wayland.

Vanessa Phillips is charged with sex trafficking and accepts proceeds from prostitution and conspiracy to run a criminal enterprise.

The charges stem from a two-year investigation that has been exposed 6,000 online ads associated with the prostitution ring and contain a Raid in July 2019 of Phillips’ co-defendant Robert Grigsby’s Wayland home, where the operation was believed to be based.

A booking photo by Robert Grigsby from March 2021.

During a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, three of the sex trafficking victims testified that they lived and worked in the Wayland house. The woman answered questions about sex trafficking, including who was paid how, who created the online ads, and where the drugs involved came from.

At least one woman claimed Phillips was the ringleader, while others believed Phillips was himself a victim of the trafficking in human beings and Grigsby was the head of the operation.

However, the police’s evidence, including Philips’ own words to investigators and during the taped conversations, was sufficient for the judge to bring the case to justice.

“She mentioned that they called her (expletive) and that they essentially worked for her. She also mentioned that they are paying Rob, ”said Wayland Police Officer Mark Riemersma. “She mentioned that she makes a lot of money. She didn’t give any details but said she wanted to buy a BMW because she made so much money. “

Grigsby’s probable cause hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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