Accused ‘serial monster’ sex trafficker with bizarre face tattoos used filed fangs to threaten victims

A horrific story is coming out of Michigan of a sex trafficker who has hideous tattoos on his face and filed fangs he used to threaten his victims if they dared to try and escape the filthy flophouse where they were held and repeatedly raped.

(Video Credit: Click On Detroit | Local 4 | WDIV)

Michael Barajas, 36, allegedly commanded his foot soldiers to kidnap women so they could be held, sold, and raped according to the Daily Mail. He reportedly hunted for victims while driving a Hummer with his “generals.”

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is accusing Barajas of building and commanding a human trafficking gang called the “Massad Squad.”

“He would tell the victim, ‘I’m going to rip your throat out if you don’t do what I tell you to do, and you don’t comply,” Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson recounted. “It’s dominance. It’s kidnapping. It’s grooming.”

Two of Barajas’ generals were recently arrested. Police have filed 20 new charges against the ring leader who allegedly held a 20-year-old woman down while she was raped by men inside a home for two weeks. The 20 new felony charges against Barajas include 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, as well as intimidation, bribery, and weapons offenses. If he is convicted, he could get life in prison.

(Video Credit: Genesee County Sheriff’s Office)

Swanson revealed more deeply disturbing details at a press conference concerning the abuse the young woman was subjected to by the gang.

“I knew this serial monster was bad, but I did not realize he’s as bad as what I’m going to tell you today,” Swanson said on Tuesday.

“The term ‘Massad Squad’ was, I’m sure, in his mind, something that he was trying to create to form a sex industry trade,” Swanson commented.

According to the sheriff, sometime around Thanksgiving Barajas sent out his underlings, Alex Matthew Schmidt, 23, along with another man in a yellow Hummer to look for women who they deemed “vulnerable.” They reportedly found one who was walking along the road near Flint, Michigan.

The men offered the victim a warm place to stay, a shower, and food.

“It’s the bare needs of an individual,” Swanson stated. “It’s the basic hygiene that she so needed. That was the grooming hook that they used.”

They took her back to the “Massad Squad” human trafficking headquarters where Barajas was eagerly waiting. She was allegedly repeatedly raped while Barajas and his generals held her down with ropes and other items.

The men would reportedly force her to put a pacifier in her mouth and call them “daddy” or put a gun to her head. During the assaults, Barajas would threaten the woman with his fangs and tell her if she tried to escape he would rip her throat out.

“Barajas held (a gun) to the head of our victim and said, ‘If you don’t do this, I’m going to kill you,'” Swanson noted.

The woman tried to escape three times during the two weeks she was held captive. The doors were locked and the windows were screwed shut.

The first time, she was reportedly about to get out the front door and run down the street before they caught up with her and dragged her back.

“She ran out the door, and as she was running down the street, they fired a round at her, they tackled her. She actually stabbed Barajas at one point. They dragged her back,” Swanson said.

In another escape attempt, she made it as far as a nearby McDonald’s before Barajas and his men found her. They threatened to kill her if she didn’t return.

“She went back a second time against her will,” the sheriff stated.

On December 8, she was finally rescued when she had a medical emergency and had to go to the hospital. She was reportedly pregnant.

The flophouse was raided and Barajas was arrested. He was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, and assault with a dangerous weapon. His first bond was set at $250,000. Currently, he has no bond.

When the story broke, another victim came forward in January according to the Daily Mail. She accused Barajas of assaulting her when she was just four years old.

“At age 4, she was put into a situation because of her connection as the child of an adult to Barajas’ family of adults,'” Swanson revealed. “Almost the same type of threats, the same type of intimidation, and the same type of sexual assault.”

The sexual assaults allegedly occurred up to five times a week starting in 2003 and ending in 2007.

“It was only because that relationship of the adults broke up that she was rescued and she was taken out of the situation, never to tell her story until January 3, 2023,” the sheriff said.

The police are looking for more victims because they don’t believe that the “serial monster” abstained for 15 years.

“Her torture and her nightmare ended in 2007. So from 2007 to 2022, when we got in, how many other victims are along that timeline?” Swanson asked. “The brutality, the look, the intimidation – I’ve seen nothing like it.”

“He doesn’t stop. He will not stop. That’s why he’s a serial monster,” the sheriff said.

Alex Matthew Schmidt, 23, and Jojuan Najee Howze, 33, have both been arrested for being part of the human trafficking ring.

Schmidt has been charged with kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault. Howze has been charged with kidnapping and four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Police are still looking for two other men, including Cody Lohrer, who reportedly has information pertaining to the case.

“We need to find him,” Swanson contended. “He’s got information that is critical to this case. He’s got information that I know, as an active participant — he is, at this point, since there’s no formal charges, he is an individual of interest. But we’re going to find him, and we’re going to find Lil Ryan, as well.”

Lil Ryan is the street name of the other man wanted in connection to the gang.

“If you know who this cat is, you call 911 and let law enforcement do our part to go track him down,” Swanson said.

“I will tell you this: If you took advantage of any of these females or any other female or male in a sex slave ring, we’re going to find you,” the sheriff vowed. “You can try to hide it from your families, your friends, you can try to go and put different names on your phones under different profiles and try to do ghost apps — we’ll find you. All those individuals that came to the house (where) Barajas held her captive, they’re just as guilty as human traffickers because they’re consumers of somebody being trafficked.”


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