One person has been charged with eight criminal offences during an ongoing Provincial Human Trafficking Intelligence-led Joint Forces Strategy (IJFS) investigation.
Information received by the IJFS on June 20, 2022, led to an investigation into allegations victims were being trafficked. Earlier this week, an individual was located at a City of Greater Sudbury hotel with two females, including one who is underage. The females were provided with aid through a victim services agency and are now in a place of safety.
As a result of the ongoing investigation, 26-year-old Deshawn McKenzie from Toronto, is charged with offences contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada as follows:
- Trafficking in Persons under 18 years of age
- Trafficking in Persons (adult)
- Material benefit resulting from trafficking in persons under 18 years of age section
- Material benefit resulting from trafficking in persons
- Advertising sexual services
- Withholding or destroying documents in relation to trafficking in persons under 18 years
- Withholding or destroying document in relation to trafficking in persons section and,
The accused remains in custody pending a bail hearing. Police suspect there may be persons with knowledge and encourage anyone with any additional information to contact the OPP non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122 or their local police. If you or someone you know may be a victim of these crimes, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The investigation was supported by members of the Toronto Police Service, Peel Regional Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Kingston Police Force, Peterborough Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Anishinabek Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The OPP involved units included Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, Physical Surveillance Unit, Underwater Search and Recovery Unit, Digital Forensics Unit and Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Unit.
The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-833-900-1010. Human trafficking resources are available at canadiancentretoendhumantrafficking.ca.