COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced the success of a multi-agency sex trafficking sting dubbed ‘Operation 614.’
The operation took place Wednesday and Thursday and netted 93 people who allegedly sought to purchase sex. The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force handled the arrests of those allegedly trying to pay for sex with minors.
Engaging in prostitution is a first-degree misdemeanor, and under a new Ohio law an offender is required to attend an anti-prostitution education or treatment program.
Reynoldsburg Police report that detectives were contacted by 225 people responding to online ads. They say 15 men responded in person and were arrested for allegedly soliciting for prostitution.
In addition to the arrests, officials say 53 victims of human trafficking were identified and referred to social services.
Human trafficking is a heinous crime and a morally reprehensible act that deprives a person of their liberty and dignity for another person’s gain. The task force strives to establish a relationship of trust with all victims and is committed to eradicating all forms of human trafficking in Central Ohio.Sgt. Dana Hess, Director of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force
Federal, state, and local law enforcement participated in the operation, according to Yost. The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is made up of the following agencies:
The Columbus Division of Police, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Adult Parole Authority, Powell Police Department, Salvation Army, Southeast Mental Health Addiction Services and Franklin County Hope Task Force.
The other agencies and entities that participated in Operation 614 were:
The Columbus Division of Police’s P.A.C.T Unit, Dublin Police Department, FBI, Grandview Heights Police Department, Grove City Division of Police, Hilliard Division of Police, New Albany Police Department, Ohio State University Police Department, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Reynoldsburg Division of Police, Upper Arlington Police Department, Westerville Division of Police and Sanctuary Night.