Jessica Mathews /

A Unadilla Township man is heading to trial in connection with a human trafficking case and holding a woman captive for years.

Unadilla Township Police arrested 53-year-old Daryl Lanzon on a multiple-count felony warrant May 26th.

Lanzon was in 53rd District Court in Howell for an exam on August 31st. Court records show he was bound over for trial on 14 charges that include 1st degree criminal sexual conduct with personal injury, 3rd degree CSC by force or coercion, unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, human trafficking, using a computer to commit a crime, and possession of a weapon by a felon.

The arrest was said to be the culmination of an investigation that began in March of 2022 when the Unadilla Township Police Department received a tip about possible human trafficking from the FBI.

The investigation revealed that Lanzon had befriended the victim, who was more than 20 years younger than him, via social media. He was able to isolate the victim from her family and put himself in a position to be her only means of emotional and financial support. Police said he manipulated her into performing sex shows online in order to support them, and kept the proceeds for himself.

Police said Lanzon took the victim to multiple states over a period of several years before settling in Michigan, and the victim was afraid to leave due to threats to harm her and her family. Police said she was subjected to this for another 5 years before she was able to escape in 2020. It then took a couple of more years before she was ready to talk about what happened to her and she called the National Human Trafficking Hotline, as she wanted to ensure that this would not happen to someone else.

A search warrant was executed at the suspect’s residence by Unadilla Township Police with the assistance of Pinckney Police, Michigan State Police Emergency Services Team, ATF, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center (MIOC). The suspect was arrested at that time on unrelated weapons charges. Multiple weapons, computers, cameras, and other related equipment were seized.

Additional search warrants were obtained to examine the electronic devices. The Unadilla Township Police Department specifically recognized Investigator Ryan Hamlin for all the work that went into the complicated case.

Future court dates are pending.

Photo: MDOC