A prominent Nova Scotia aboriginal leader is one of five men caught up in an underage sex sting in Halifax.

Pierre‘Rick’ Joseph Simon is well known in aboriginal communities across Atlantic Canada and is a staunch defender of aboriginal rights.

He has been the regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, a former CEO of the Indian Brook Band in Shubenacadie, and now works for the Atlantic Policy Congress.

Five days ago, Simon was arrested for allegedly luring a teen on the Internet.

Police say they conducted the operation after noting an increase in the amount of young women engaged in online prostitution.

A police officer posted a fake ad on different websites, such as Craigslist, posing as a 16-year-old girl.

Police say they received many responses but that five men quickly became the focus of the investigation.

In just four days, police say the officer exchanged hundreds of emails with the men and arranged for them to meet at local hotels to exchange sexual services with the girl.

Police arrested the men as they showed up at the hotels.

The men each face charges of using a computer to communicate with a person believed to be under the age of 18 for the purpose of engaging in prostitution:

  • Mitchell Gary Kays-Rose, 25, of Halifax
  • Alan Tek, 29, of Halifax
  • Peter Lee White, 39, of Halifax
  • Donald William Moore, 43, of Shubenacadie
  • Pierre (Rick) Joseph Simon, 57, of Hilden

Police say Kays-Rose has also been charged with possession of a controlled substance.

The men all face conditions for their release which include not having any contact, either directly or indirectly, with any child under the age of 18 and not to possess any device that can access the Internet.

Simon and Moore have also been ordered to stay away from playgrounds and schoolyards.

Simon lives near Truro and works at the Cole Harbour offices of the Atlantic Policy Congress where he is the director of fisheries.

Officials form the Atlantic Policy Congress refused to comment on the matter. Chief Terry Paul also declined an interview.

The men have since been released on conditions and are due to appear in Halifax provincial court on April 2.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant