8 men arrested during undercover Warren sex sting
By Ed Runyan
Six men allegedly seeking sex – and two allegedly trying to arrange it for others – were arrested Wednesday in the second sex-trade sting operation in the city in five months.
Wednesday’s operation was conducted by the Warren Police Department, agents with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force and other agencies, who ensnared individuals through use of an ad posted on a social media website.
One police report says agents participated in a text conversation with a Mineral Ridge man in which the man engaged in a sexually explicit conversation in asking for sex from the agent.
The man was directed to meet at a prearranged location in the city, where he was arrested, interviewed and taken to the Trumbull County jail, charged with misdemeanor soliciting and possessing criminal tools – the cellphone he used to make the phone call.
The last Warren sting was Nov. 29 and netted 10 arrests for soliciting prostitution, meaning the men contacted undercover agents and arrived at a prearranged place for sex and were arrested. Police also arrested four women on prostitution charges last August in another sting.
Tracy Timko Sabau, assistant Warren law director, said there will be more undercover operations of this type in the future, partly because the “johns” are “setting themselves up to get robbed or diseased,” and their money feeds the prostitutes’ drug habit.
“When you see the condition of the girls – and they bring that home to their families?” Timko Sabau said.
The six men charged with soliciting prostitution and possessing criminal tools are Patrick S. Cassidy, 53, of Liberty Avenue in Hubbard; Bryan J. Calai, 35, of Lyntz Townline Road in Lordstown; Jay D. Barbe, 55, of West Main Street in West Farmington; Dain W. Bancroft, 55, of Lincoln Avenue in Mineral Ridge; Donald E. Lingenfelter, 48, of Budd Street in Sharon; and Phillip Salus, 68, of Poplar Street in Girard.
All appeared for arraignment Thursday morning in Warren Municipal Court, pleaded not guilty, and a personal-recognizance bond of $2,500 was set, meaning they didn’t have to pay anything.
Two other men were arraigned Thursday afternoon, both charged with felony promoting prostitution and felony possessing criminal tools.
They are Lamont E. Davis Jr., 20, of Benton Street Southeast in Warren; and Joseph E. Tennant, 44, of Shirley Road in Youngstown and Blueberry Lane in Warren.
Davis offered to serve as a pimp for the officer posing as a prostitute, and Tennant tried to arrange sex for himself and another man in his vehicle, police said. Tennant also pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor soliciting for sex.
Both pleaded not guilty, and both remained in the county jail Thursday afternoon. Davis’ bond is $2,500, and Tennant’s bond is $3,500.