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Ponoka man accused of human trafficking

Province’s ALERT asking potential victims to come forward

A Ponoka man accused of recruiting and exploiting multiple women is facing numerous charges, including human trafficking and sexual assault.

In October 2022, (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams) ALERT Human Trafficking unit received information that a man was targeting vulnerable women, many with no fixed address, in the Edmonton area.

“It’s our understanding that this man was actively searching out women who were struggling with addiction. He would lure these women to hotels by offering drugs, food and a place to stay, then exploit them and force them into the sex trade, even taking them to other areas of the province,” alleged Staff Sgt. Christopher Hayes, with ALERT Human Trafficking, in a news release on Wednesday

On Dec. 20, 2022, a search warrant was executed on a home in Edmonton’s Ottewell neighbourhood. Edmonton Police Service assisted in the search warrant.

“We believe that Becks has exploited more than a dozen women and we are asking these women to come forward. There’s a community of these women that he targets, and these women may better recognize him by the name ‘Bear’.

“We are here to help, but there’s only so much we can do with the intelligence we have collected thus far,” said Hayes.

ALERT Human Trafficking unit is looking to identify and speak with additional victims and witnesses. Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call the Edmonton Police Service or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Christopher Becks, 37, has been charged with trafficking a person, procuring, material benefit from trafficking a person, advertising sexual services, overcoming resistance to commission of an offence and uttering threats.

Becks is currently out on bail with strict conditions as he awaits his next court appearance on March 3.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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Black Press Media Staff

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