A Delaware County Grand Jury indicted a central Ohio man on 17 charges related to human trafficking.
David Nelms of Columbus is accused of trafficking at least a dozen women into prostitution.
Nelms allegedly advertised the women on online escort websites like backpage.com, according to members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.
Authorities said Nelms took advantage of the women's drug addictions and used heroin to make them comply with his demands.
The trafficking activity took place at upscale hotels in the greater Columbus area, according to investigators.
Nelms’ neighbor Damon Nabrit said he could not believe the charges.
“I’d like to think that’s not true, especially right across the street,” Nabrit said.
Nelms is charged with 17 counts, include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity with a human, five counts of compelling prostitution and eight counts of promoting prostitution. All of those counts have a human trafficking specification. He also faces numerous drug charges.
“That’s is a despicable, disgusting act,” Nabrit said.
Investigators said that they were tipped off to the operation a year ago and kept Nelms under surveillance until Monday, when he was arrested during a traffic stop.
Authorities believe there could be additional victims who have yet to be identified.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Columbus Police Department at 614-645-4545 or the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446).
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