GREENVILLE (SC). In late 2016, the Greenville Police Department joined the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Task Force by assigning a detective to investigate crimes related to federal and state human trafficking laws. In mid-January 2017, in conjunction with HSI, the assigned detective began receiving tips about
possible victims of human trafficking. A subsequent investigation quickly led investigators to Michael Ruiz.
Investigators determined that Ruiz was representing himself to different individuals as an immigration officer and police officer who could help them with their legal status and provide them with legal documents in exchange for money. The investigation revealed that Ruiz, who was introduced to his victims through word of mouth, extorted
more than $70,000 from six victims of his fraudulent representation.
Ruiz is currently being held in the Greenville County Detention Center on no bond and is charged with the following offenses:
Trafficking 1st Offense - 4 Counts
Blackmail or Extortion - 4 Counts
Obtaining Signature or Property under False Pretenses - 4 Counts
Fraudulently Impersonating an Officer to Secure Property - 4 Counts
Impersonating Law Enforcement Officer - 1 Count
Financial Identity Fraud - 2 Counts
Alteration/Sale of Fictitious License - 1 Count
Conspiracy - 1 Count
Anyone who thinks Michael Ruiz may have victimized them is asked to call the Greenville Police Department at 864-271-5333.