Man arrested for child sex crimes during police sting

MARQUETTE COUNTY, MICH. During an investigation regarding child sexual predators in the Upper Peninsula, troopers with the Michigan State Police Eighth District Hometown Security Team had contact on 6/4/23 with a suspect from Houghton County, MI. During the investigation, a trooper with the team was posing as a minor and a 43-year-old male from Lake Linden began conversing and soliciting to meet with the minor for sexual relations.

On 6/16/23, a female trooper assisted as a decoy at a local Marquette Township establishment. Detectives conducted surveillance and observed the suspect pull into the parking lot of the establishment where the decoy was set up. The suspect made contact with the decoy and requested the decoy to come out. The suspect exited his vehicle and began approaching the decoy’s location. As the suspect approached the decoy’s location, he was taken into custody. The suspect, Erick John Alatalo, was arrested and lodged at the Marquette County Jail on charges of accosting a child for immoral purposes, child sexually abusive activity, and using a computer to commit a crime. Alatalo was arraigned in the 96th District Court on 6/20/23 and lodged at the Marquette County Jail. If anyone has information regarding additional victims with this suspect or area, please contact the Michigan State Police, Eighth District Headquarters. The Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET), MSP Negaunee Post troopers and detectives, MSP Canine Unit, and the Eighth District Computer Crimes Unit assisted on scene.

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