Indictment in Human Trafficking Case
Posted on 3/19/2018
Defendant: Antwan D. Williams
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force announced today the indictment of an individual accused of trafficking three victims in the Columbus area.
The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, which is part of Ohio Attorney General DeWine's Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, began investigating the case in 2017 after receiving a tip from Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Copas who recognized several indicators of sex trafficking.
The investigation found that the suspect allegedly advertised his victims online for commercial sex and child pornography. The victims included a woman from Columbus, a woman from Georgia, and a juvenile victim from Youngstown.
“This case highlights the importance of knowing the warning signs of human trafficking, and reporting any suspicious situations," said Attorney General DeWine. “I'm pleased that we are able to help these victims and prevent this suspect from continuing to harm others.”
Antwan D. Williams, Sr., 28, Canal Winchester, was indicted on the following charges:
· Trafficking in persons - commercial sex acts, a felony of the first degree
· Pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor, a felony of the second degree
· Pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor, a felony of the fourth degree
· Compelling prostitution, a felony of the third degree
· Promoting prostitution, a felony of the third degree
· Promoting prostitution, two counts, felonies of the fourth degree
“Many law enforcement officers in our community come across important links to human trafficking cases throughout their daily activities. It is excellent police work such as the information Deputy Copas passed to our Task Force, that lead to the rescue of  human trafficking victims,” said Sergeant Mark Rapp, the Director of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by the office of Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.
The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is a coalition of local, county, state and federal agencies including the Columbus Division of Police, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Powell Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Franklin County Prosecutor's Office and the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office. The task force works in cooperation with the Salvation Army of Central Ohio, which provides assistance to human trafficking victims.
Established in 1986, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission assists local law enforcement agencies in combating organized crime and corrupt activities through the creation of multi-jurisdictional task forces. The commission is composed of members of the law enforcement community and is chaired by the Ohio Attorney General.