The Whitehall Division of Police said 12 women ranging in age from 20 to 40 were discovered inside a residence during a Dec. 6 search warrant and are believed to be victims of human trafficking.

Whitehall police, along with the Columbus Division of Police INTAC unit, used a warrant to search a residence in the 800 block of Ruby Avenue in Columbus, according to a Dec. 7 news release from Whitehall police 

Drug trafficking was the focus of the warrant, but human trafficking also was suspected of occurring at the location, the release said.

“This is another example of the connection between narcotics and human trafficking,” police Chief Mike Crispen said.

Three people at the Ruby Avenue residence were arrested: a 50-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man, each charged with trafficking in heroin, a fifth-degree felony, the release said.

In all, 18 people were at the residence and 12 women were interviewed and identified as victims of human trafficking, the release said.

The Salvation Army and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force are assisting in the investigation, the release said.

The investigation is continuing with additional charges pending, the release said.