Fire tears through Detroit's shuttered Victory Inn motel

Posted at 5:53 AM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 05:53:22-04

Flames tore through the shuttered Victory Inn last night.

The motel was forced to shut down earlier this year after a judge said its owners ignored criminal activity happening there.

Almost 200 police and federal investigators raided the place in January. It was one of the largest federal sweeps in Detroit history.

A Wayne County judge ordered it shut down for a year-- and all contents removed.

Judge Robert Colombo said it was clear the people who owned the property and ran it turned their backs on the criminal activity that was happening there to make money.

A homeland security officer testified, they found an "uncountable" amount of needles, crack pipes and lottery tickets used to carry drugs. They also found 14 possible victims of human trafficking. Those women were found shaking, frigid and appeared high on drugs inside rooms.

Investigators said they found evidence of torture.

This month, investigators arrested an alleged pimp - who they say enslaved women at the inn, convicted killer Darrick Bell.

Star Lodge, owners of the motel, claimed innocence and asked for a chance to clean up the building, even offered to join the Project Green Light Detroit program, but that didn't happen.