Fugitive sex offender caught operating kiddie rides at Ohio fair: Cops

Police have arrested an accused sex offender wanted on multiple counts of solicitation of a minor at an Ohio fair.

Investigators say Brandon Walsh, 30, faces charges in South Carolina for creating fake Facebook profiles to solicit girls, ranging in age from 13 to 16. Police say that if the girls would refuse to send more photos, Walsh would threaten to release photos he already had. The alleged crimes occurred at his Lake Harbor home between the end of 2016 and August 2017, according to WKBN.

WLTX reported that the search for Walsh ended Thursday when authorities discovered him working a carnival ride at the Canfield Fair’s “Kids Zone.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force told The Vindicator that they apprehended Walsh with help from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Canfield police, and fair police. Troopers blocked off exits and Canfield police created a perimeter while fair police and deputies combed the premises for Walsh.

“With the environment here at the Canfield Fair, the amount of children that come here and the charges that he was facing in South Carolina, that’s somebody we want to find and put in cuffs as quick as we can,” Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office Major Bill Cappabianca told WKBN, noting that they found Walsh within a half hour.

Major Cappabianca said Walsh originally denied having a cell phone but later admitted to discarding it in a port-a-john. Authorities plan to check the phone, along with his car and laptop, once they obtain a search warrant.

Walsh is being held in Mahoning County Jail until his extradition to South Carolina, where he could face additional charges.

[Featured Image: Richland County Sheriff’s Department]