10 children found, 200 arrested in anti-human trafficking sting

The operation resulted within the arrest of greater than 200 folks and the restoration of 10 lacking kids.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A statewide anti-human trafficking operation resulted within the arrest of greater than 200 folks and the restoration of 10 lacking kids. 

Lawyer Basic Dave Yost detailed the outcomes of the operation, known as “Ohio Is aware of,” throughout a briefing with a number of regulation enforcement companies on Monday. 

The operation, which spanned one week, led to the arrest of 161 folks in search of to purchase intercourse, together with three folks from Franklin County who sought to purchase intercourse from a minor. Moreover, 50 folks had been arrested for providing to promote intercourse. 

Amongst these arrested was a Cleveland-area metropolis councilman, a trainer, a professor, a pilot, municipal workers and a firefighter. 

Randal Frazier was the music trainer at St. Matthew Catholic College in Gahanna.

In keeping with the Diocese of Columbus, they had been notified on Sept. 23 of Frazier’s arrest for solicitation. He was instantly suspended earlier than his employment was terminated on Sept. 27.

Columbus firefighter Andrew Bartnikowski was just one of the arrests made on Sept. 27. He’s charged with counts of participating in prostitution. 

In keeping with courtroom information, Bartnikowski responded to an internet commercial to pay for intercourse and engaged in a number of textual content messages and calls. He was arrested at a lodge by undercover officers posing as prostitutes. 

Police recognized 64-year-old Mark Jessie as a member of Elyria Metropolis Council. He was one in all 14 males arrested within the northern Ohio metropolis for solicitation, in line with the Elyria Police Division. 

A simultaneous investigation performed by the U.S. Marshall’s Service resulted within the restoration of 10 lacking kids. These kids have been provided providers, in line with an replace from the Lawyer Basic’s Workplace.

“I shake my head and may’t consider these tales,” stated Yost. “It occurs in every single place.” 

The operation enlisted the assistance of almost 100 federal, state and native regulation enforcement companies throughout Ohio. In keeping with a launch, 51 potential trafficking victims had been interviewed and helped in consequence.

Columbus Metropolis Council handed an ordinance final month aimed toward holding offenders accountable, whereas additionally aiding victims. The anti-human trafficking plan focuses on prison justice, sufferer providers, know-how, schooling and group collaboration. 

“We’ll proceed to accomplice with all of our companies statewide to deal with this very severe concern,” stated Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant. 

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