A three-day, multi-agency, undercover human trafficking sting in Central Ohio has resulted in the arrest of 104 people. This sting is just the latest in statewide efforts to combat human trafficking.
Attorney General Dave Yost says 30 police agencies worked together in this sting, an operation called “Fourth and Goal.” Out of the arrest, 53 were for felonies, and 26 arrests involved crimes against children.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery," Yost says.
Yost adds that authorities are finding it’s prevalent throughout Ohio.
“What we are starting to see is there is more of this than we thought,” he says.
The Attorney General’s Office worked with Columbus Police and its Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force to conduct the sting.
“This operation demonstrates the varying dynamics of sex trafficking operating within our community,” said task force director Sgt. Mark Rapp in a statement. “Street prostitution is only a small part of a much larger complex sex trafficking issue. This operation was a collaboration of over 30 local, state and federal agencies and offices working to address the many hidden crimes within Ohio.”
As part of the sting, 43 women were directed to social services and referred to CATCH Court (Changing Actions To Change Habits), a specialized court program for survivors of human trafficking.
Yost says similar stings have been conducted in Cleveland and the Mahoning Valley in recent months.