The ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team) Human Trafficking unit has successfully rescued four teenagers from the clutches of exploitation, uncovering a disturbing network of underage victims.

Three individuals, including two men and a 17-year-old, now face a combined total of 48 charges in connection with the case.

The investigation, spanning several months, revealed the victims, recruited and groomed into the sex trade, were subjected to sexual exploitation at a local hotel.

One of the survivors, a 13-year-old girl, had been previously reported missing, initiating collaboration between ALERT and the Edmonton Police Service. This joint effort not only led to the safe recovery of the missing girl but also exposed the plight of other youth victims ensnared in the exploitative web.

“These youths met their perpetrators over social media and were lured and groomed into working in the sex industry. As is often the case, there are a bunch of false promises of money, relationships, gifts, but those never seem to materialize and these survivors endure tremendous hardship,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Hayes, of ALERT Human Trafficking unit.

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