10 men were arrested on Thursday during a human trafficking sting conducted by the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force. The men were charged with engaging in prostitution, which is a first degree misdemeanor.
According to a press release from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a non-profit executive, a middle school teacher, and an illegal immigrant were among those that were arrested. One man, 35-year old Errol Jackson, was already a registered Tier III sex offender and was charged with promoting prostitution, a fourth-degree felony.
The operation was conducted with co-operation between the North Olmsted Police Department, Westshore Enforcement Bureau, and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to identify those providing and purchasing commercial sex.
There were also seven potential human trafficking victims identified and provided resources during the operation. Those resources include the Canopy Child Advocacy Center, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and the Harriett Tubman Movement.
10 men arrested in North Olmsted in human trafficking sting.
“Yesterday was a banner day for the task force,” AG Yost said. “Their commitment to wiping out the scourge of human trafficking is making a difference in the lives of the victims and having a big impact on the region.” pic.twitter.com/3h322Ha45m
— Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (@OhioAG) May 12, 2023
“Yesterday was a banner day for the task force,” Yost said in his statement. “Their commitment to wiping out the scourge of human trafficking is making a difference in the lives of the victims and having a big impact on the region.”
Cuyahoga County Interim Sheriff Joseph Greiner said, “An anti-human trafficking operation is a crucial step towards combating this heinous crime that violates human rights and destroys lives.”
The sheriff said, “Such operations not only help to rescue victims from the clutches of traffickers but also send a strong message to perpetrators that their actions will not be tolerated. We must all unite in the fight against human trafficking and support anti-human trafficking operations in any way we can to eradicate this problem.”
The nine other men arrested were 41-year-old Ahmed Aliabri of Cleveland, 32-year-old Sha Chuwan of Erie PA, 53-year-old Dan Keenan, Jr. of Westlake Oh, 52-year-old William Minor of Cleveland OH, 53-year-old Jeffrey Ohl of La Grange OH, 30-year-old Erwin Palma-Torres of Garrettsville OH, 32-year-old Jacob Safran of Royal Oak MI, 53-year-old Raymond Schillinger of Akron OH, and 55-year-old Carl Whepley Jr. of Perry OH.
The North Olmsted Police department said in a Facebook post, “Yesterday, officers from the North Olmsted Police Department joined forces with the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force in an effort to target those that prey on the victims of human trafficking.”
“In a very short time, the task force made 10 arrests here in North Olmsted. Activities like these are not a North Olmsted problem. These activities are an every city problem. You may think it’s not happening in your community but you can see by the addresses of the people arrested, they will travel to find what they are looking for at hotels in our communities,” the post continued.
Attorney General Yost has assembled 6 regional task forces to combat human trafficking in the state.
Instead of charging these men with a Fourth-degree misdemeanor, it should be automatic Five years hard time.