177 arrests, 109 survivors rescued during largest anti-human trafficking operation in Ohio’s history

177 arrests, 109 survivors rescued during largest anti-human trafficking operation in Ohio’s history

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost discussed the results of, what he believes was, the largest anti-human trafficking operation in the state’s history, which was conducted in the last week.

A virtual press conference with Yost, as well as representatives from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, U.S. Marshals Service, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, and more was held on Monday morning.

Yost announced that 177 arrests of “Johns” and traffickers were made during “Operation Autumn Hope.” More than a dozen of those arrests involved men who were attempting to arrange sex with a child.

Yost added that 109 survivors of human trafficking were rescued.

“The difference between simple prostitution and human trafficking is the difference between two and three,” Yost said.

Prostitution is an arrangement usually between a “John” and a female.

“Human trafficking involves a third party, typically taking a cut of the money,” Yost added.

The anti-human trafficking operation was conducted in collaboration with over 50 federal, Ohio state, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as non-government partners.

“The success of Operation Autumn Hope is measured not only in the number of arrests but in the lives that were rescued from this evil,” Yost said. “Every agency on this team looks for the day when no person is bought and sold in Ohio. Don’t buy sex in Ohio!”

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