1 arrested, 2 with Que. ties still at large in Alta. human trafficking investigation

EDMONTON — Three people have been accused of trafficking and assaulting a sex worker in Edmonton.

Kevin Dorcelus Cetoute, 27, was arrested Feb. 16 and appeared at a bail hearing Thursday morning. 

Canada-wide warrants were issued for Andrew Elien Abbot, 26, and Jonty Jean, 21, on Feb. 3. Investigators said one is likely still near or in Alberta’s capital city, but the other is believed to be in Quebec, to which both have “extensive ties.”

Together, the trio face two dozen charges related to trafficking, gang sexual assault and sexual assault while using a firearm, and forcible confinement.

The case “was one of the more disturbing ones I had been a part of over my career,” said Staff Sgt. Lance Parker, who oversees the ALERT human trafficking and exploitation unit.

“This is truly sickening, and what this victim endured is appalling. The survivor has displayed remarkable courage in providing information to police.

“However, we have strong reason to believe there are other victims and we want to hear from them. Trust us, that we are committed to listening and ensuring your safety. We want to ensure no other person suffers the same.”

He wouldn’t expand on police’s belief there are other victims, citing the file was before the courts, except to say techniques used by investigators led them to believe “this wasn’t a one-time occurrence.”

Those with information related to the case or Abbot and Jean’s locations were asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

A ‘FORESHADOW’ OF SUCCESS FROM DEDICATED HUMAN TRAFFICKING UNIT

Police say the investigation started in September 2020 and eventually led authorities to Quebec, where they partnered with Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal.

Although “some stuff happened” in Montreal, Parker said the alleged human trafficking and assault occurred in Alberta.

Two homes in the province’s capital city were searched with the help of Edmonton police, and ALERT seized a small amount of drugs and more than $70,000 in cash.

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams is a collaborative effort of police agencies across the province, funded by provincial dollars.

ALERT CEO Dwayne Lakusta said it was an expansion of the service in 2020 that led to the creation of two teams in Edmonton and Calgary fully dedicated to human trafficking counter exploitation.

“This investigation foreshadows the success I expect from these units,” Lakusta told reporters.

Parker echoed the sentiment, adding that human trafficking has always existed in the province but the ALERT model enables police to target it better.

“Now we’re able to break any boundaries that we have, whether it be provincial or international.”

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