COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three Columbus residents were arrested Tuesday in connection to a human trafficking investigation, the Ohio attorney general announced.
Twenty-year-old Ka-Auija’e “Unique” Washington, 28-year-old Levrous “Vell” Alfred and 21-year-old Patrice Bigord were indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on May 24 on charges related to the investigation.
According to a release from Attorney General Dave Yost’s office, the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force received several tips about the three suspects from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Crime Stoppers and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Washington, Alfred and Bigord after multiple victims, all underage, were identified through the investigation.
Washington is charged with nine felony counts including trafficking in persons, compelling and promoting prostitution, commercial sexual exploitation or a minor and pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor.
Alfred is charged with three felony counts of trafficking in persons, promoting prostitution and compelling prostitution. Bigord is charged with one felony count of compelling prostitution.
“Human traffickers control their victims through fear, drugs and violence – chains that are broken when law enforcement makes a big arrest,” Yost said. “Our task forces are working hard to get traffickers off the streets and into jail.”
Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations at 855-224-6336 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.