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Individual with ties to Kingston charged in human trafficking investigation

A Toronto man with ties to the Kingston area has been charged with eight criminal offences after police located him in a hotel with two females, one of whom was under age.

Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Deshawn McKenzie, 26, was charged as part of an ongoing Provincial Human Trafficking Intelligence-led Joint Forces Strategy (IJFS) investigation. According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the IJFS, on Monday, Jun. 20, 2022, the IJFS received information which led to an investigation into allegations that 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 IJFS said in a press release on Thursday, Jun. 23, 2022.

“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, McKenzie was charged under the Criminal Code of Canada with:

  • Trafficking in persons under 18 years of age
  • Trafficking of persons (adult)
  • Material benefit resulting from trafficking in persons under 18 years of age
  • Material benefit resulting from trafficking in persons
  • Advertising sexual services
  • Withholding or destroying documents in relation to trafficking in persons under 18 years of age
  • Withholding or destroying documents in relation to trafficking in persons
  • Assault

Police said that McKenzie 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,” the IJFS stated.

“If you or someone you know may be a victim of these crimes, call 911 immediately.”

According to the OPP, the investigation was supported by members of various police services, including the Kingston Police Force. Kingston Police were not able to immediately confirm that McKenzie is known to police locally, nor expand on their involvement in the investigation, however, they are expected to provide an update later today.

McKenzie was charged in a Toronto armed robbery when he was 19 in 2015, and identified as a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run in Markham in 2017. His name has appeared on court dockets here in Kingston as recently as 2021.

Other police services assisting in the investigation are 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 OPP. For their part, the OPP involvement includes the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, Physical Surveillance Unit, Underwater Search and Recovery Unit, Digital Forensics Unit, and Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Unit.

The IJFS underscored that the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-833-900-1010, and pointed to the human trafficking resources are available at canadiancentretoendhumantrafficking.ca.

Kingston Police were involved in another IJFS investigation that resulted in four people being charged in December 2021, which was announced the same day the IJFS was officially launched on December 15, 2021.

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One thought on “Individual with ties to Kingston charged in human trafficking investigation

  • June 24, 2022 at 4:01 am
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    Why is it that the immediate threat is never addressed as a one Jon mind class

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