A 21-year-old Toronto man faces 33 charges related to a human trafficking investigation involving a teenage girl allegedly being groomed over social media and flown to B.C.
The Human Trafficking Enforcement Team and the C.A.R.E. (Children At Risk of Exploitation) team began an investigation on April 24, after it was alleged a teenaged girl from Ontario, upon being groomed over social media and flown to B.C. was sex trafficked using a combination of deception, coercion and physical violence. Police say the girl was trafficked in B.C. and Ontario periodically between August 2021 and April 2022.
Toronto Police say all the money earned throughout the trafficking period was turned over to the accused.
Police on Thursday arrested Andrew “Hot Boy Ryda” Pothiers-Grant, in the Victoria Park Ave.-O’Connor Dr. area. Cops seized a loaded firearm, a quantity of drugs and cash during the arrest.
Pothiers-Grant’s laundry list of charges include: Trafficking in persons under 18 by recruiting, recruit person under 18 to provide sexual services for consideration, assault by choking, assault, two counts of trafficking in persons under 18 by exercising control, two counts of procuring/exercising control over persons under 18, two counts of financial/material benefit/trafficking persons under 18, material benefit from sexual services provided by persons under 18 years, advertising another person’s sexual services, two counts of making child pornography, two counts of transmit child pornography, two counts of unlawfully possess child pornography, advertising another person’s sexual services, harassment by combination of prohibited conduct, possess loaded firearm, store firearm carelessly, possess prohibited firearm knowing it is restricted, unauthorized possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of prohibited firearm knowingly not holding a licence, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, weapons dangerous, carry concealed weapon, possession prohibited device knowing it is prohibited, possession of Schedule I substance for the purpose of trafficking (fentanyl), possession of Schedule I substance for the purpose of trafficking (cocaine), possession of Schedule I substance for the purpose of trafficking (oxycodone), possession of proceeds obtained by crime not exceeding $5,000.
Investigators believe there may be more victims and have released an image of the accused. Anyone with information can call police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or visit www.222tips.com.