VIDEO – Ohio’s Biggest Human Trafficking Sting Yields 161 Arrests: ‘We Are Coming After You’

In this Dec. 16, 2016 photo, an alleged victim of priest Nicola Corradi poses for a photo during an interview in Mendoza, Argentina. At least 24 students of the Antonio Provolo Institute in Argentina have now come forward seeking justice for the abuse they say they suffered at the hands …
AP Photo/Marcelo Ruiz

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, along with social service partners, announced the results of a recent anti-human trafficking operation in Ohio.

“Operation Ohio Knows” resulted in 161 arrests of individuals allegedly trying to purchase sex, in some cases with a person posing as a minor, Fox 8 reported Monday.

It was the largest human trafficking bust in Ohio’s history, according to Yost.

“The suspects arrested include a home improvement contractor, a city council member from Elyria identified by Elyria police as Mark Jessie, 64; a firefighter, a teacher, a professor and even a pilot, making over $200,000 a year, who haggled the price down to $15. Another suspect was arrested with a 2-year-old in the car,” the article read.

A member of the American Regulators wears a patch and holds a flag during a rally in front of the Ohio Statehouse against child human trafficking in Columbus, Ohio on May 1, 2021. (Stephen Zenner/AFP via Getty Images)

A member of the American Regulators wears a patch and holds a flag during a rally in front of the Ohio Statehouse against child human trafficking in Columbus, Ohio on May 1, 2021. (Stephen Zenner/AFP via Getty Images)

According to Elyria City Council President Vic Stewart, Jessie was the incumbent Democrat Ward 3 councilman on the ballot for the November election.

“It’s disheartening. We don’t condone that in Elyria City Council. We don’t condone Jessie’s actions. He will have his day in court and we will go from there,” Stewart commented.

Yost said during a press conference that for the first time in the state, a statute was enacted making it a more serious crime to buy sex than sell it because the “John” was in it for the money, noting if there were no buyers, trafficking would not exist.

“Reducing the demand means that we reduce the number of people who are victimized by human trafficking,” he explained, adding, “The survivor does not tell you, ‘I don’t really want to do this but if I don’t I’m going to be beaten,’ or ‘If I don’t he’s going to withhold my drugs and I’ll go into withdrawal and I can’t deal with that.'”

Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said the operation also recovered 10 missing children, and officials were working with courts, schools, health care facilities, and additional community partners across the state to address the issue.

Meanwhile, Columbus Police Officer Dana Hess thanked those who participated in the recent operation.

“Ohio knows what’s going on in our state. Ohio knows what’s going on in our country and Ohio knows what’s going on in our world,” Hess stated.

“So if you’re buying sex from another human being or sexually exploiting another human being for your own personal gain, you better watch out because Ohio knows and we are coming after you,” the officer concluded.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.