UPDATE: Edmonton Couple Charged in Human Trafficking Investigation

Edmonton… More charges have been laid, and more survivors have been identified, in an ALERT human trafficking investigation involving an Edmonton couple.

Three human trafficking survivors contacted ALERT after a news release was issued on November 10, 2020, in relation to the arrest of Ross and Anita Pickering.

“It took a lot of courage for these survivors to come forward. It is traumatic for them to relive these offences, but their information has proven vital in advancing the investigation,” said Staff Sgt. Lance Parker, ALERT Human Trafficking Unit.

“Media coverage played an important role in reaching survivors, and we thank the media for their support.”

One of the survivors reported they were a minor when the alleged offences took place. ALERT is working with Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) to provide support and resources.

CEASE is a community-based victim service organization offering a range of supports for those who have been sexually exploited, assaulted and trafficked. To learn more, visit: www.ceasenow.org

New charges were laid against Ross Pickering on November 27, 2020, and include:

  • sexual assault;
  • procuring a person under the age of 18; and
  • making child pornography.

Pickering had already been charged with:

  • trafficking in a person;
  • advertising the sexual services of another person;
  • procuring;
  • procuring a person under the age of 18; and
  • obtaining material benefit from trafficking a person.

Survivors of sex trafficking can call 211 for help. To report suspected human trafficking, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.