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Nine men arrested in August sex sting indicted

YOUNGSTOWN — Nine men arrested during an August sex sting run by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force were indicted Thursday on various charges.

They are accused of answering an advertisement on websites and trying to arrange to have sex with minors.

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said at the time that the message the sting intended to send was: “Since they’re not going away, we (law enforcement) are not going away.”

They are among 17 people arrested from as near as Youngstown, Niles and Struthers and two truck drivers from Louisiana and New Jersey. Many of the charges are felonies with some carrying a penalty of up to three years in prison if convicted.

Most of the nine are expected to be arraigned in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in the coming weeks.

Those indicted Thursday from the sting are:

• Herbert D. Lashorn, 46, East Mapledale, Akron, compelling prostitution, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor with a gun specification, two counts of possessing criminal tools and one count of engaging in prostitution;

• Jay C. Emmert, 33, Hartzell Avenue, Niles, importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and possessing criminal tools;

• Thomas E. Ashby, 34, Hunter Street NW, Warren, compelling prostitution, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of possessing criminal tools;

• Benjamin M. Virga, 53, Shelby Township, Mich., importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and possessing criminal tools;

• Michael L. Beal, 44, Mahoning County jail, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, importuning and possessing criminal tools;

• Tomas E. Baker, 37, Buckeye Street Northwest, Warren, compelling prostitution, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, engaging in prostitution and two counts of possessing criminal tools;

• John A. Burnett, 35, Glenellen Avenue, compelling prostitution, importuning and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles;

• Carlos T. Rush, 57, Vernon Avenue Northwest, Warren, compelling prostitution, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, engaging in prostitution and possessing criminal tools;

• Gary M. Wellendorf, 64, West Lewis Street, Struthers, importuning, attempted sexual conduct with a minor and possessing criminal tools.

Others indicted Thursday, in cases not related to the sting, are:

• Richard Rice, 55, Lois Court, cocaine trafficking with a specification of forfeiture of money in a drug case; cocaine possession with a specification of forfeiture of money in a drug case, fentanyl-related compound possession with a specification of forfeiture in a drug case and having weapons while not allowed;

• Alexander R. Lys, 24, Mahoning County jail, two counts of telecommunications harassment; two counts of of menacing by stalking; one count of intimidation of an attorney, victim or witness in a criminal case; and one count of violating a protection order;

• Anthony E. Rogers, 47, Mahoning County jail, aggravated burglary, resisting arrest and domestic violence;

• Hannah M. Brown, 20, Roosevelt Drive, two counts of forgery;

• Laniyah E. Decembly, Roosevelt Drive, three counts of forgery;

• Billy G. Jarrett, 58, Mahoning County jail, assault;

• Jamie M. Kohut, 41, Mahoning County jail, aggravated drug possession;

• Aona R. Felder, 29, Clyde Street, vandalism;

• Elonde J. Washington, 22, Mahoning County jail, felonious assault and aggravated menacing;

• Frederick Johnson, 58, Market Street, Boardman, cocaine possession and drug possession;

• Shawn M. Yoder, 36, Pasadena Avenue, aggravated drug possession, possession of drug abuse instruments and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Taylor A. Miller, 28, 20th Street, Cuyahoga Falls, cocaine possession, possessing drug abuse instruments and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Kathryn A. Tollett, 49, Mahoning County jail, cocaine possession and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Ramon T. Taylor, 53, East Chalmers Avenue, cocaine possession and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Jessica K. Bourne, 42, Mahoning County jail, grand theft and theft;

• Samuel J. Myers, 31, North Raccoon Road, Austintown, five counts of child endangering;

• Sara M. Myers, 34, North Raccoon Road, Austintown, five counts of child endangering;

• Michael I. Rivera, 23, Westchester Drive, Austintown, two counts of child endangering;

• Alvin Tucker, 36, Euclid Avenue, receiving stolen property.

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