Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter M. Stewart joined members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, including Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, Ohio State Highway Patrol Colonel Paul Pride, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Marlon V. Miller, in announcing the arrests of a father and son on federal human trafficking charges.
A federal grand jury indicted Keith Arrick Sr., 46, of Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, and Keith Arrick Jr., 21, of Columbus, on the charges this week. The indictment charges both men with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor, and sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion.
Keith Arrick Sr. is also charged with two counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits interstate transportation for prostitution.
The arrests and indictments follow an investigation by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, which is part of the Ohio Attorney General's Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. The investigation found that the father and son forced one juvenile and multiple women, including one victim brought to Columbus from Kentucky, to engage commercial sex acts between September 2013 and February 2014.
The indictment alleges that the defendants used various hotels in the Columbus area to harbor the women and used the Internet to recruit customers. The elder defendant is accused of using physical violence or threats of violence if the victims indicated they wished to stop performing commercial sex acts.
"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," DeWine said. "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.”
“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.”
Authorities arrested Keith Arrick Jr. in Columbus on Tuesday. He is currently in custody in the Franklin County Jail. Keith Arrick Sr. is in custody on unrelated charges in Kenton County, Ky.
The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, which was formed in 2012, 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.
Authorities with the Columbus Police Department's gang and vice units and the Grove City Police Department assisted in the investigation.
A copy of the federal indictment can be found on the Ohio Attorney General's webpage.
Established in 1986, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission assists local law enforcement agencies in combating organized crime and corrupt activities. The Commission is composed of members of the law enforcement community and is chaired by the Ohio Attorney General.