Burton firefighter among latest GHOST team arrests

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 1:28 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A Burton firefighter is among the latest group of arrests made by the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team.

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson announced 17 arrests by the GHOST team on Wednesday, including 40-year-old Burton firefighter Matt Hyde. He is facing several charges, including child sexually abusive activity and accosting a child for immoral purposes.

Hyde was the union president for Burton firefighters. He previously worked as a police officer for Clayton Township, Mt. Morris City, Genesee Township and the Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission before leaving law enforcement in 2015.

Swanson said police found two firearms in Hyde’s vehicle when he arrived to meet with an undercover police officer posing as an underage child online.

Burton Fire Chief Kirk Wilkinson said the allegations against Hyde were “unexpected” and “unacceptable by our standards.” He immediately suspended Hyde from the fire department after learning of the situation.

“It is our goal to maintain the public’s trust and we will do everything in our power to do so,” Wilkinson said.

Burton Mayor Duane Haskins said this one individual is not a reflection of the entire fire department.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office formed the GHOST team last year to target human trafficking crimes. Undercover officers pose as underage children online -- including the the so-called dark web -- and often arrange meetings with suspects for sexual encounters.

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