Human Trafficking Task Forces Arrest 49 During Recent Festivities

Updated 3 days ago Edited from a Press Release

(CLEVELAND) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley today announced the success of two concurrent Human Trafficking Task Force operations that occurred during the past week’s professional baseball festivities.

“Here’s a billboard for sexual predators: Don’t buy sex in Ohio,” Yost said. “There’s no safe haven for these crimes in our state, and my office and local law enforcement partners are committed to keeping it that way.”

“Buyers soliciting for prostitution are sex predators who fund the human trafficking behind the scenes, where pimps profit from exploiting the vulnerabilities of their victims,” said Mark Rapp, Director of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force. “Men who buy sex may think they are a party to a victimless crime. They couldn't be more wrong, the women advertised for paid sexual services are often trafficked through commercial sex.” 

Operation Homerun, a prostitution demand initiative, was conducted by the Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC), the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force. This operation netted 21 arrests for individuals soliciting for prostitution.

“The difference between these guys and Jeffrey Epstein is only a matter of degree,” Yost said.

The arrested individuals include:

  • David Albert, 45, Westlake
  • Geovani Morales, 45 Kenilworth, N.J.
  • Dawit Bekel, 29, Richmond Heights
  • Ron Mitchell, 52, Avon
  • Leonard Majasi, 52, Weslake
  • Roger Hoover, 57, Chillicothe
  • Michael Barta, 23, Brecksville
  • Ronald Olbrys, 51, Reminderville
  • James Blue III, 28, Cleveland
  • Brian Brown, 50, Cleveland
  • Gregory Shaffer, 59, Maple Heights
  • Timothy Laplante, 60, North Olmstead
  • Ibrahim Salty, 32, Cleveland
  • Daniel Abraham, 52, Walton Hills
  • Simon Lewis, 44, Lyndhurst
  • Cory Kyovsky, 29, Cleveland
  • Michael Gallese, 26, Cleveland
  • Krishna Adusumilli, 25, Illegal Alien
  • Anthony Petruziello, 41, Wickliffe
  • Anthony Ciresi, 52, Seven Hills
  • Larry Clark, 37, Beechwood

Operation Triple Play, an initiative focused on those seeking to engage in sexual activity with whom they believed to be minor children, was led by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. This operation arrested 28 individuals that could face felony charges of Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Importuning, Possess Criminal Tools and Attempting Corruption with Drugs.

“Online predators are a hidden threat to children throughout this community.  The success of this operation should serve as a stern reminder to perpetrators – if you attempt to exploit children online, we will catch you,” O’Malley said. “This operation would not have been possible without the teamwork of the numerous law enforcement agencies involved.”

The arrested individuals include: 

  • Jacob Hale, 20, Cleveland
  • Kyle Ferguson, 21, Medina
  • Denis Ismailaj, 22, Lakewood
  • Jacob Hoover, 22, Brunswick
  • Tyler Reed, 23, Parma
  • Luis Ponciano, 23, Lorain
  • Sebastien Juin, 24, Cleveland
  • Jonathan Staples, 24, Barberton
  • Maurice Cannon, 26, Cleveland Heights
  • Julio Torres, 26, Cleveland
  • Jamal Williams, 26, Cleveland
  • Justin Raab, 26, Painesville
  • Michael Mills, 27, Westlake
  • Douglas Rosenthal, 27, Cleveland
  • Peter Nelson, 28, Cleveland
  • Jason Chandler, 28, Akron
  • Carlos Crespo, 29, Brunswick
  • Anthony Gentry, 29, Youngstown
  • Aaron Hawley, 30, Sheffield Village
  • Scott Carrigan, 31, Chardon
  • Phillip Pate, 31, Lakewood
  • Derek Smon, 31, Lakewood
  • Jason Conley, 32, Painesville
  • Steven Prest, 36, Youngstown
  • Eric Flores, 40, Cleveland
  • Vincenzo Rampini, 43, Mentor
  • Norman Thompson, 49, Chesterland
  • James Schultz, 67, Parma

Across both operations, participating law enforcement agencies included: The Ohio Attorney General’s Office; Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force (Columbus Division of Police, Ohio Investigative Unit), Mahoning County Human Trafficking Task Force (Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation), Cuyahoga Regional Human Trafficking Task Force (Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department), the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Office of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Newburgh Heights Police Department, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cleveland Police, U.S. Secret Services, Austintown Township Police Department, Solon Police Department, Streetsboro Police Department, Cortland Police Department and the Kent Police Department.

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