News and Press Releases

FATHER AND SON ARRESTED FOR SEX TRAFFICKING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2014
http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohs
CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer
(614) 469-5715

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has indicted Keith A. Arrick Sr., 46, of Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky and his son, Keith A. Arrick Jr., 21, of Columbus, Ohio charging them with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, including Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Colonel Paul Pride of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs  announced the indictment today.

Task Force agents and Columbus Police patrol officers arrested Keith A. Arrick Jr. yesterday in Columbus. U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers scheduled a detention hearing for Arrick Jr. for 11 a.m. Friday, May 23, 2014. Keith A. Arrick Sr. is currently in custody in Kenton County, Kentucky on unrelated state charges.

The indictment alleges that between September 2013 and February 2014, the men used various hotels in the Columbus area to harbor women, including a minor female, to engage in commercial sex acts for the financial benefit of the defendants. The indictment accuses the men of recruiting customers through internet websites by posting photos of the women or others who resembled the women, instructing the women how much to charge for the various acts then keeping a portion of the money for themselves, and providing the women with illegal narcotics, including heroin. The investigation found that one victim was brought to Columbus from Kentucky. The indictment alleges that Keith A. Arrick Sr. used physical violence and threats of physical violence if the victims indicated they wished to stop performing commercial sex acts.

The indictment charges both men with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, a crime punishable by a sentence ranging from zero years to life in prison. They are also charged with sex trafficking of a minor, which is punishable by at least ten years and up to life in prison, and two counts of sex trafficking by force fraud or coercion, which is punishable by at least 15 years and up to life in prison.

In addition, the indictment charges Keith Arrick Sr. with two counts of violating the Mann Act which prohibits interstate transportation for prostitution. It is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

“These arrests highlight HSI's commitment to identify and investigate human trafficking threats, as well as protect victims' rights and bring traffickers to justice,” said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge of HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio. “We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to dismantle human trafficking networks in our community.”

“The investigation found that these defendants forced the victims to commit sex acts for money. They were held against their will and were fearful for their lives,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Members of this task force helped get these victims away from this situation, and now the defendants are facing the consequences of their actions.”

“The cooperation between agencies in the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force shows the level of commitment we all have to making Ohio a safer place to live,” said Col. Paul Pride, Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent. “Multi-agency task forces enhance the efforts to remove individuals like this from our communities.”

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, which was formed in 2012 and is part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, also includes authorities from the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), Powell Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill is representing the government in this case.

Authorities with the Columbus Police Department's gang and vice units, as well as the Grove City Police Department assisted in the investigation.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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