Genesee County Sheriff's Office

Man with bizarre face tattoos and fanged teeth arrested as human trafficker

A Michigan man whose face is covered in bizarre tattoos and who filed his teeth into fangs to intimidate victims has been charged with running a human trafficking gang alongside two “generals” who did his bidding.

Man with monstrous tattoos and fangs accused of operating human trafficking gang

Michael Barajas, 36, has been arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on accusations of forming a human trafficking gang and ordering several underlings to do his bidding, including kidnapping women.

Allegedly, Barajas covered his face in unsettling tattoos and filed his teeth down to fangs in order to promote a “monstrous” appearance to intimidate his human trafficking victims, MEAWW reported.

Prosecutors say Barajas formed a human trafficking gang called the ‘Massad Squad.’ He allegedly commanded several underlings or “generals” to do his bidding, which included prowling around in a Hummer looking for victims, the Daily Mail reported.

After the arrest of two of Barajas’ “generals,” law enforcement officials have since brought 20 new charges against him, which include holding down a 20-year-old woman while she was abused by him and other men inside a home for two weeks.

Cops give press conference on “monster” and how the gang operated

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson gave a press conference in which he described the operations of the human trafficking gang and, in particular, the man at the center, Michael Barajas, who was described as a “monster.”

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

“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,'” Swanson continued. “It’s dominance. It’s kidnapping. It’s grooming.”

Swanson went on to describe how Barajas and his accomplice, Alex Matthew Schmidt, 23, and another member of the gang, would go out patrolling in a yellow Hummer to seek out “vulnerable” women. The sheriff said the “generals” have been trained to find vulnerable women and bring them back to the human trafficking headquarters of the “Massad Squad.”

Swanson described one incident in which two “generals” found a 20-year-old woman walking along the road near Flint, Michigan, a town known for its poverty. The sheriff said they offered the woman a warm place to stay, shower, and eat a meal.

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

After the woman was brought back to the home in Flint, the victim was held down, using ropes and other items, and attacked by the gang.

“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 said, and that he flashed his fanged teeth and threatened to rip her throat out.

The woman was held in the home for two weeks, attempting to escape multiple times without success, the sheriff added. The woman was finally rescued on December 8 when she had a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital.

Ringleader and 2 members of gang face multiple charges, two still on the run

Barajas has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, and assault with a dangerous weapon. His first bond was set at $250,000.

Accomplices Alex Matthew Schmidt, 23, and Jojuan Najee Howze, 33, have both been arrested as members of the human trafficking operation. 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 seeking two more men, including Cody Lohrer, who reportedly has information important to the case.