Learn 2020

Human Trafficking Cases in Canada: 2020
 
Police raided a mansion in a high-end neighbourhood north of Toronto that was being used for an underground gambling operation equipped with slot machines, mahjong tables, a full cash bar, and a bed and breakfast upstairs. 29 people were charged and $1M in cash was seized, along with nearly a dozen firearms. Police suspect sex trafficking was also taking place at the mansion, and the investigation remains ongoing. 

2 adults and 11 missing youth were located in Winnipeg during a weekend sweep aimed at protecting those with a high-risk of being sexually exploited. During the sweep 8 men were also arrested for obtaining sexual services. 

A 22 year old and 18 year old male have been charged with the trafficking of persons, including minors, after police responded to an incident at the Burlington hotel. There have been 2 confirmed victims but the Halton Police Service believes there may be more.
 
 A 34 year old man was arrested on June 20 and charged with human trafficking. The victim made numerous attempts to break free over the course of her many years under his control. The trafficker kept her captive through the use of threats, coercion and manipulation. 

Police dismantled a sex-trafficking ring earlier this week, resulting in 32 charges being laid. 7 people were charged in this investigation. Traffickers supposedly rotated victims in apartments to provide sexual services to clients responding to online advertisements. The abuse took place in 9 different cities, including London, Belleville, Kingston and Ottawa. 
 
London police are trying to locate Jordan Hawke, a 28 year old man charged with 9 criminal code offences including the trafficking of persons. 1 victim has been confirmed so far but police believe there are others.
 
Five men have been identified who are allegedly involved in the sex-trafficking of females in Calgary. The Calgary Police Force are working with Quebec’s anti-human trafficking task force to find the additional victims that have not yet come forward. 
 
 Two Saskatchewan men are facing human trafficking charges after police were called to a home in June where a 23 year old female reported she had been held captive for a period of time. 
 
Christopher Smith, 41, was charged with trafficking one female victim. Smith allegedly trafficked the victim from August 2019 to June 2020. 
 
A 23-year-old Cambridge man was arrested in Mississauga after a human trafficking investigation took place. The accused is facing 12 charges including trafficking in persons, sexual assault, strangulation and firearm related offences, etc. Police say one female victim and one suspect were involved and that the case is closed. 
 
A Toronto man is facing several charges including advertising another persons’ sexual services and material benefit from sexual services. Police allege that Steve Coehlo, 38, met the victim on social media and began an intimate relationship. He introduced her to an escort agency and encouraged her to work in the sex industry. Coehlo controlled the victims earnings and profited. The woman attempted to leave the agency, but Coelho refused to allow her to quit. 
 
A second year Western University student became a victim of sex-trafficking after being approached by a woman who suggested she should become an exotic dancer. London’s close proximity to Detroit and Toronto, as well as its multiple access points create a largely desirable situation for traffickers to not only bring victims to sell, but actively recruit as well. The young woman was placed on the classified advertising website Backpage, which was known as the largest online platform for buying and selling sex before being shut down in 2018. After finally gaining the courage to leave her situation, she found the LAWC (London Abused Women’s Centre) which offers support and resources to women who have been victims of human trafficking. 
 
In November 2019 an investigation was launched to look into the sexual exploitation of a 16 year old girl. A Toronto police officer, as well as 9 other men have since been charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration from people under 18 years of age. 
 
A 30-year-old-man is facing human trafficking of a minor, as well as several drug-trafficking charges following his multiple arrests in High Level. Michael John Neufeld was arrested after a traffic stop, where police found drugs in his vehicle. There was another adult and child present, whom were both taken to the hospital for health concerns. Neufeld was released the next day on conditions including no contact with youth. The young victim left her housing and returned to Neufeld, who was then charged with an additional count of human trafficking of a minor and remanded into custody. 
 
Adil Hosannah, 28 of Ajax, was charged after the victim escaped and contacted police. Police say that Hosannah met the victim in 2014 when she was 15 years old. He was charged with trafficking in persons under 18 years by exercising control, sexual assault, financial/material benefit from trafficking persons under 18, obtaining sexual services for consideration from persons under 18 years, possessing firearm of ammunition contrary to prohibition order, etc. 
 
Kia Sampson, 22, was charged after a young girl approached police in 2019 claiming she was a victim of human trafficking. Sampson is currently wanted by police for trafficking and benefitting from sexual services provided by persons under 18, invite/counsel sexual exploitation of a young person, possession of child pornography and obstruction of justice. 
 
Amir Mehrani, 46, of North York was charged with four different offences related to human trafficking. The victim had revealed her involvement in the sex trade to the officers on scene who had first been called to respond to an "unknown problem". 
 
Tony Orr, 58, was charged after the Orillia OPP and OPP Anti-human trafficking team were notified of a male approached vulnerable women in the area to provide sexual services for money. 
 
An 18-year-old man was arrested after the Waterloo police’s human trafficking unit received information about a young female being trafficked. The man was arrested at a motel in Kitchener as has since been charged with human trafficking, advertising sexual services, procuring a person under 18, distribution of child pornography, uttering threats and receiving material benefits from sexual services. 

Jocelyn Sarmento-Bustillos, 22, was charged in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Niagra Falls. Police launched an investigation in March after reviewing online advertisements. Toronto police arrested the suspect at the request of Niagra police. 
 
Two 18-year-old men were arrested following a investigation at a motel in Waterloo. The accused are facing several charges including procuring a person under 18, distributing child pornography, human trafficking, and advertising sexual services. 
 
Anthony Curtis, 27, was arrested following a human trafficking investigation. Curtis trafficked a 19-year-old-female throughout Ontario. He is currently facing 19 charges including trafficking a person over 18, advertising sexual services, material benefit from sexual services, careless storage of a firearm, etc. 
 
David Clarke, 49, was charged with two trafficking related offenses of a minor. Police believe that Clarke contacted the victim in January of 2020 over Facebook and trafficked her between January and March of 2020. 
 
Karl Stivens, 29, faces human trafficking charges after a four-month investigation. Other charges being laid include sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and advertising another person’s sexual services. 
 
Courtney McEwan, 53, and Tyrone McEwan, 31, were both arrested after police began a human trafficking investigation in June 2019. Police received a phone call from a woman who had claimed she had been sexually assaulted and forced to work in the sex trade. Tyrone was charged with trafficking in persons, material benefit from sexual services, advertising sexual services, fraud under $5000 and withholding documents in relation to trafficking. Courtney was charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, procuring to provide sexual services for consideration and failure to comply with a release order. 
 
A man from the GTA is facing charges after police found a teen in distress in a motel parking lot. Police received a message from the victim via social media. The suspect got the victim involved in the sex industry and controlled her movements, finances, and clientele.
 
Peel regional police have made an arrest in connection to a human trafficking case in Mississauga. Ahman Sbeiti, 34, allegedly took complete control of the victim’s life and began profiting off of her. He now faces charges such as trafficking in persons, exercising control over a sex trade worker, assault, uttering threats and deriving benefit from sexual services. 
 
Three individuals were arrested after a human trafficking investigation that began in 2019 was wrapped. The investigation focused on a company operating under the name "Nite Candy Escort Agency”. 52 charges have since been filed against the perpetrators.
 
Jamaal Koehler, 25, is facing 18 charges following a human trafficking investigation in Toronto. Koehler allegedly introduced the victim into the sex trade by giving them drugs in an attempt to gain control and exploit them. The charges Koehler is currently facing include that of sexual assault, forcible confinement, transporting and harboring, and others. 
 
Kimani Welcome, 32, and Crystal Eisan, 27, were charged with various trafficking offences after police received a 911 call from a woman who explained that a couple was holding her against her will at a London rental property. Police later learned that the victim was forced to perform sexual acts for money in various hotels and rental properties. 
 
Brothers Anthony Dignard, 21, and Sullivan Dignard, 22, were arrested after an anonymous caller from the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline tipped them off to a home in Hamilton after reports of two women in distress. Police believe the women were forced into the sex trade via the Airbnb app. Charges laid include trafficking sexual services, and uttering threats. 
 
Between 2015 and 2020 Daniel Bell procured a victim to work in the sex trade. Durham’s Regional Police Human Trafficking Unit made the discovers after an investigation was started once the victim came forward. The charges laid against Bell include receiving material benefit from trafficking, procuring and receiving material benefit from sexual services, advertising sexual services and three counts of assault. 

Ottawa Police identified a survivor of human trafficking in fall of 2019 and launched an investigation. Ottawa police worked closely with Windsor police to arrest the suspect, who is under prosecution for procuring a person under the age of 18, permitting a person under the age of 18 on the premises for prohibited sexual activity, possession of proceeds obtained by crime over $5,000 and material benefit from sexual services provided by a person under the age of 18.
 
Alex La, 19, was charged after police received information in December of 2019 about a man coercing a young woman into the sex trade via drug use. The charges laid include trafficking in persons, trafficking in persons for material benefit, robbery, failure to comply with a youth sentence, etc. Investigators believe there may be other victims or individuals who have information involving the case. 
 
A number of people were taken into custody and charges are being laid after an investigation was opened regarding criminal harassment and illegal firearms. Drug possession, human trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking are some of the charges that have been laid.