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Record Number of Arrests In Statewide Human Trafficking Sting

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Dan Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau

For the third year, law enforcement around Ohio conducted a human trafficking sting. And this time it turned out to be the largest one in state history. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has details on the results of Operation Ohio Knows.  

Republican Attorney General Dave Yost says 51 potential human trafficking victims were helped in and 161 men were arrested in 17 communities, including Elyria City Councilmember Mark Jessie, a firefighter and a teacher.

“We actually arrested a pilot who makes over $200,000 but not only was purchasing sex, but he haggled and got the price down to $15. We also arrested a guy with a two-year-old in the car.”

Three men arrested were trying to buy sex from someone they thought was a minor, and 50 men and women offering to sell sex were also arrested. Yost says 10 missing children were also found by the US Marshals Service.

Among the 161 men charged with soliciting sex is listed as Andrew Bartnikowski of the Columbus Division of Fire. Officials say they are aware of the charges, and are conducting an internal investigation of their own.  

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