A two-week undercover investigation targeting men who were looking for sexual services from 16- and 17-year-old females has resulted in 11 arrests and 44 charges.
Dubbed ‘Project Chestermere 2,’ the investigation was led by the DRPS Human Trafficking Unit.
“Officers posed as young females online and made arrangements for dates at local hotels. When the male customer arrived, they were arrested by members of the Human Trafficking Unit,” a media release reads.
The 11 men charged range in age from 23 to 60 and most were citizens of Durham Region, except for two men from Toronto and one from Quebec. They are now facing charges including sexual exploitation of a young person; obtaining sexual services for consideration; luring a person under 18 years of age by means of telecommunication; and agreement to commit a sexual offence against a person under 18 years of age.
“The DRPS Human Trafficking Unit is committed to investigating incidents of exploitative and/or forced sex-trade work and is committed to helping all victims and connecting them with community resources to support them,” the media release reads.
“The DRPS would like to appeal to any person who may be involved in a similar situation or may know someone involved, to come forward. We take these cases seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation and protect the victims of this crime. The Human Trafficking Unit would like to thank everyone who assisted with this initiative, including hotel and motel operators.”
Anyone with new information about human trafficking in Durham Region can contact Det. Davies at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5600.
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at http://www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca