A man suspected of recruiting and exploiting multiple women is facing numerous charges, including human trafficking and sexual assault.
In October 2022, ALERT Human Trafficking received information that a man was targeting vulnerable women, many with no fixed address, in the Edmonton area.
“It’s our understanding that this man was actively searching out women who were struggling with addiction. He would lure these women to hotels by offering drugs, food and a place to stay, then exploit them and force them into the sex trade, even taking them to other areas of the province,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Hayes, ALERT Human Trafficking.
On December 20, 2022, a search warrant was executed on a home in the Ottewell neighbourhood. The Edmonton Police Service assisted in the search warrant.
Christopher Becks, 37-years old from Ponoka, was arrested and is facing the following charges:
- Trafficking a person;
- Material benefit from trafficking a person;
- Advertising sexual services;
- Sexual assault;
- Overcoming resistance to commission of offence; and
- Uttering threats.
Becks is currently out on bail with strict conditions as he awaits his next court appearance on March 3, 2023.
“We believe that Becks has exploited more than a dozen women and we are asking these women to come forward. There’s a community of these women that he targets, and these women may better recognize him by the name ‘Bear’. We are here to help, but there’s only so much we can do with the intelligence we have collected thus far,” Hayes added.
ALERT Human Trafficking unit is looking to identify and speak with additional victims and witnesses. Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call the Edmonton Police Service or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.