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Locals arrested as part of statewide human trafficking sting

The Ohio Attorney General’s office reported the arrest of dozens of people as part of a statewide anti-human trafficking operation.

Operation Autumn Hope, coordinated through Attorney General Dave Yostás Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, encompassed more than 50 law enforcement agencies and non-government partners to break the cycle that fuels sex trafficking across the state.

According to a news release Monday, the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force apprehended 22 individuals seeking to have sex with a minor. The sting netted 14 arrests locally. Those arrested and charged with felony counts of importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, possession of criminal tools and other felony charges include a pastor, students, and a rehabilitation resident adviser.

No other details were given in the news release, which stated the broad-based effort was, carried out in various parts of the state.

Among the other departments participating locally were the Austintown Police District, Cortland Police Department, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office, Canfield Fair Police Department, and the Youngstown Police Department.

This is a developing story. Check back here or read Tuesday’s print edition for more details.

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