Three individuals are collectively facing a total of 52 charges following a human trafficking investigation in the city of Barrie, police say.
The investigation, which began late last year and wrapped up this past Thursday, focused on a company that was being operated under the name of Nite Candy Escort Agency — or NC Promotions.
According to Peter Leon, the Barrie Police Service’s corporate communications co-ordinator, there were four female victims involved in the operation.
“There is a possibility there could be more people out there that the investigators just weren’t aware of,” Leon said. “If anybody has information or was a victim of human trafficking involving this group, then we’re certainly asking them to reach out to the Barrie police.”
On Thursday, officers say they executed a search warrant at a residence on Radenhurst Crescent.
A 48-year-old man and a 45-year-old man, both from Barrie, and a 44-year-old Angus, Ont. woman were arrested and charged. According to Leon, one of the male suspects is facing 27 charges.
The charges include multiple counts of trafficking in person, receiving material benefit, procuring, material benefit prostitution and sexual assault.
“Human trafficking has no place in our community or any other community,” Barrie police chief Kimberley Greenwood said in a statement.
“The funding and five-year comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking that was announced late last week by the Ontario government will give law enforcement and our investigators the tools and resources required to continue investigating these horrific crimes and hold those who engage in this controlling industry accountable for their actions.”
All three suspects were held in custody and appeared in Barrie court for bail hearings on Friday, police say.
According to officers, the accused have since been released and will appear in court on April 6.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Const. Michelle Jansen of the Barrie Police Human Trafficking Unit at 705-725-7025, ext. 2166, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.