104 arrested in massive central Ohio trafficking, online child sex sting
( WBNS )
More than 100 people have been arrested in a massive human trafficking and internet sex sting.
Among those charged - a medical doctor and a church youth director.
The operation focused on three central Ohio counties: Franklin, Fairfield, and Delaware.
One by one, they were marched in front of a judge. Twenty-four men over three days.
All accused of the same crimes: attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning.
Major Steven Tucker with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office says they all showed up with the intention of meeting a child for sex.
"We make sure there is no mistake about that," Tucker said.
He oversaw the sting operation run by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
He says it starts with online chats between the men, and who they believe to be underage boys and girls.
It's actually an officer posing as a juvenile.
"The reality that they were operating in, is that there absolutely was a child at the other end of that device, and that's who they were coming to see."
And he says each of the 24 men followed through.
"They show up with sex toys, they show up with lubrication. They show up with things that clearly somebody isn't going to show up to a house with, unless they intended to engage in sexual activity."
"This four-part simultaneous operation involved more than 30 law enforcement agencies," said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, announcing the operation Friday.
It was focused not just on internet predators, but human traffickers and the men who feed the sex trade with their dollars.
"Criminals involved in trafficking other human beings prey upon those individuals that are already at risk, subjecting them to prostitution and addiction," Yost said. "Predators who seek to harm our children and grandchildren are not hiding in the bushes, they're lurking on the internet."
"Please talk to your children," said Tucker. "Please know what they're doing online. Set the rules. Be the parent. Be the parent. Know who they're talking to. You're entitled to ask. You're entitled to know. The children need to know, you can't trust everybody. Not every adult is trustworthy."
Here's a breakdown of those 104 arrests:
Twenty-four men were arrested in that online child sex sting:
Timothy Coffey, 52, Columbus
Joshua Love, 27, Columbus
Jose Montoya, 22, Columbus
Christian Bryant, 30, Columbus
Michael Sweeney, 39, Columbus
Steven Weakley, 20, Grove City
Austin Kosier,31, Columbus
John Shimizu, 28, Dublin
Steven Wilson , 36, Columbus
Alex Kim, 22, Dublin
Steven Barcus,45, Westerville
Rick Birman, 59, Columbus
Mark Fitzgerald II, 32 , Portsmouth
Scott Fierro, 38, Marysville
Daniel Clingman, 38, Pataskala
Jonas Wernick, 20, Upper Arlington
David Bond, 48, Columbus
Neil Bond, 28, Methuen, Mass.
James Good, 33, Marysville
Brian Basil, 28, Grove City
Logan Detty , 21, Chillicothe
Cesar Lopez, 22, Columbus
Christian Gibson, 26, Groveport
Cody Conn, 22, Reynoldsburg
Thirty-six men were arrested for trying to buy sex.
One man was arrested for promoting prostitution and 43 women were arrested for selling sex.
Those women will be connected to social services, including Franklin County's CATCH Court program.
( Source )