Ontario man accused of human trafficking, exploiting Nova Scotia women

RCMP working on a yearlong cross-country investigation have arrested an Ontario man they accuse of trafficking and exploiting women from Nova Scotia.

The 31-year-old man faces more than a dozen charges, according to a news release from police. He was arrested on March 27 in Niagara Falls, Ont. He is originally from Nova Scotia.

RCMP said an investigation was launched after they received information that men from Nova Scotia had relocated to Ontario and were exploiting Nova Scotia women in the sex trade across Canada.

It isn't clear from the news release issued Thursday whether any other men were arrested during the investigation.

Cross-country investigation

Along with Halifax Regional Police, RCMP worked with police in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland on the case, which was called Operation Hellbender.

The suspect faces charges of:

- Human trafficking.

- Receiving a material benefit from trafficking.

- Receiving a material benefit from sexual services.

- Advertising sexual services.

- Assault.

- Possession of property obtained by crime.

- Careless use of a firearm.

- Unsafe storage of a firearm.

- Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

- Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.

- Possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm and ammunition knowing possession is unauthorized.

- Possession of a firearm where the serial number is removed.

- Two counts of failure to comply with a prohibition order.

- Three counts of failure to comply with a probation order.

He will appear in provincial court in Niagara Falls on May 9.