NBC4 | The Associated Press
Sixteen men have been arrested in an undercover operation targeting predators seeking to sexually exploit children, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and the Mahoning County Sheriff.
The suspects were taken into custody over the last three days as part of an investigation by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force, which is part of Yost’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC) and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
This is the second undercover sting operation this year in the Youngstown area, as a March 14 operation netted eight men.
“This trap will be laid time and time again until the message reverberates – don’t buy sex in Ohio,” Yost said. “Task forces are a force multiplier and their success is evident in the number of criminals taken off the street.”
The OOCIC supports law enforcement agencies by coordinating task forces to investigate organized crime that crosses city, township and county borders. Special agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation also participated in the task force’s operation.