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Published On: Thu, Feb 9th, 2017

Ohio: Lerenzo White, Justice White, Justin White indicted after human trafficking arrest

A federal grand jury has indicted a Columbus man with five counts of human trafficking.

Lerenzo White, 30, who operates under nicknames “Justice” and “Justin,” is accused of trafficking at least five women in prostitution through force, fraud or coercion.

The indictment says White allegedly recruited and trafficked women from at least July of 2013 through May of 2016.

Lerenzo White

He is accused of using violence and the threat of drug withdrawal to force young women to prostitute themselves at hotels and homes throughout Ohio.

Ohio is seeing a rise in human trafficking as a new report points to the increase across the nation.

Data from the group Polaris shows there were 375 human trafficking cases in Ohio last year, up from 289 in 2015. The data is based on more than 13 hundred reports made to a national hotline. 277 cases of sex trafficking and 42 cases of labor trafficking were reported. One in four cases involved a juvenile.

Polaris says there were more than 8 thousand cases last year, up 35 percent from 2015. Those figures are based on cases reported in the U.S., from overseas, and from the agency’s textline for victims. Polaris blames the increases in part on greater awareness of the national hotline, but says trafficking is still under-reported. Local and state leaders have taken several steps to raise awareness and combat human trafficking in recent years.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline number is 1-888-373-7888 Victims may also text Polaris at 233733.

In Ohio, sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion is punishable by a range of 15 years up to life in prison.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the ICE HSI Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423).

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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