Human Trafficking Task Force Investigation Leads to Indictment of Columbus Man

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Columbus Division of Police Chief Elaine Bryant today announced the indictment of a Columbus man following an investigation conducted by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.

Desmond Thomas, 25, was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury this morning on five felony counts, including trafficking in persons, rape, compelling prostitution, promoting prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation of a minor. Thomas, also known by his street alias of “TommyGun Nino,” was taken into custody without incident.

The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force received a tip in August 2021 regarding a juvenile posting advertisements on a website for prostitution. The information received by law enforcement provided multiple leads, including today’s indictment and arrest. In October, the task force arrested a Northland High School teacher, Robert Pea. The task force investigation is continuing as additional victims are being identified and interviewed.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation or knowledge of additional victims of human trafficking is encouraged to contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6336) or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 and request to be connected with a member of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.

The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, formed under the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, includes resources from the Columbus Division of Police, Homeland Security Investigations, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Powell Police Department, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Adult Parole Authority, The Ohio State University Police Department, Salvation Army, Southeast Healthcare, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office.

Indictments are criminal allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proved guilty in a court of law.


Information courtesy of the Attorney General of Ohio