Nova Scotia man charged in human trafficking investigation with ties to Alberta

Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams. File/Global News

A 31-year-old Nova Scotia man has been charged with several offences following a human trafficking investigation involving two provinces.

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ human trafficking and exploitation unit and Nova Scotia’s provincial human trafficking unit began their investigation in June 2020 after a Nova Scotia woman contacted RCMP in that province. RCMP said the woman was being forced to work in the sex trade.

The specialized human trafficking units said in a news release Tuesday morning that the woman was being procured for sex by a man she knows. The alleged offences took place in the Edmonton area in November and December 2019, according to ALERT.

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The woman has since been offered support and specialized care resources.

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“This is such a dehumanizing offence and it took tremendous courage for the victim to come forward. We owe it to her to pursue justice, and as this case demonstrates, we are prepared to go to great lengths to do so,” said Acting Staff Sgt. Chris Hayes, with ALERT human trafficking.

On April 6, William Meuse was arrested at a home in Bear River. The community is located in Nova Scotia’s Digby County.

The 31-year-old was taken into custody and is now being transported to Edmonton by Alberta Sheriffs.

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Meuse is charged with human trafficking, material benefit — trafficking, procuring, advertising sexual services and distribution of intimate images.

“This investigation highlights inter-agency cooperation across Canada and the ability of investigators to complete these types of investigations no matter where the crime occurs. Our investigators are dedicated to working with survivors and supporting them throughout the investigative process,” Sgt. Derrick Blanche of the Nova Scotia provincial human trafficking unit said.

Survivors of sex trafficking can call 211 for help. Additional resources can also be reached through the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

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