Advertisement

3 charged in human trafficking investigation in Pictou County

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Three men are facing charges in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County area.

Nova Scotia RCMP say the investigation began after its provincial human trafficking team received information that people were trying to target and recruit young women from the area into human trafficking.

READ MORE: 15-year-old arrested for allegedly sharing photos of minors in N.B., police say

Multiple police departments launched “Operation Hush,” which led to the arrest of three men.

John Robert Bonnar, 21, from Pictou County, faces a long list of charges, which include:

  • Trafficking a person under 18
  • Trafficking a person over 18
  • Material benefits from sexual services regarding a person under 18
  • Material benefits from sexual services regarding a person over 18
  • Procuring a person under 18 for sexual services
  • Procuring a person over 18 for sexual services
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Two counts of sexual assault
  • Two counts of sexual interference
  • Extortion
  • Breach of probation

Abelardo Sanchez Villar, 45, from New Glasgow was charged with:

Story continues below advertisement
  • Obtaining sexual services from a person under 18
  • Obtaining sexual services from a person over 18,
  • Sexual assault
  • Breach of probation

Justin Stanley MacDonald, 22, from New Glasgow was charged with:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual interference
  • Breach of probation

Bonnar appeared in Pictou court on Monday. He remains in custody and is scheduled to return to court on June 22.

Villar remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in Pictou court on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Truro-area man facing 3 child pornography charges after search of home

MacDonald has been released on conditions and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 17.

Police say the victims have been offered support and a publication ban was issued by the provincial court judge in relation to all matters.