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Home » Over 160 Arrested in Massive Human Trafficking Sting, Including a Politician and a Teacher

Over 160 Arrested in Massive Human Trafficking Sting, Including a Politician and a Teacher

Attorney Dave Yost, Republican of Ohio, announced Monday that 161 people were arrested and 51 potential human trafficking victims were assisted as part of a week-long, statewide anti-human trafficking operation that ended Friday.

According to a news release on the Yost website, the anti-human trafficking sting, Operation Ohio Knows, is the largest operation in Ohio history.

Among the 161 people arrested were three who wanted to buy sex from minors. Among the others Yost mentioned were a teacher, a firefighter, a professor, a pilot, a home improvement contractor, a city council member and a man who was two years old when he was arrested. went.

“It’s not just something that’s going on in the hood in this city,” Yost said in a 53-minute news briefing he held Monday at the Ohio State House. “It’s in every county. It’s in every city. It’s happening all over Ohio. Bad neighborhood, rich neighborhood. Educated, uneducated. Black and white. Unimportant.”

“It’s happening everywhere, and that’s why this fight is so important. And I’m not going to rest until nobody in Ohio is buying or selling people,” he said.

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The engagement is a partnership, which Yost calls “a comprehensive effort,” with nearly 100 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies partnering with both nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations. The goal is to reduce demand from those who want to pay for sex, rather than focusing on those who sell it.

Yost cited a recent Ohio law that toughens the penalties for buying sex, thereby targeting the demand side of the sex-trafficking trade. It also requires offenders to receive human trafficking education, according to the magazine Independent Press.

“People who traffic other people are doing it for one simple reason – money,” Yost said at the news conference. “And if there was no market, if there were no consumers, there would be no trafficking.”

Yost acknowledged that the goal of eventually eliminating the purchased-sex requirement in Ohio is “probably a short order.”

“But the reduction in demand means we are reducing the number of people who are victims of human trafficking,” he said.

Among those calling for a ban in Ohio last week was Democratic Rep. Mark Jessee of Elyria, a city 20 miles southwest of Cleveland. According to WKYC-TV, she faces a misdemeanor charge of soliciting prostitution. Although he will not be removed from the charge of the city council, he is due to be elected next month.

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