Officials in Ohio announced on Monday that they have arrested 161 suspects during an eight-day operation to curb human trafficking.
Ohio Attorney General David Yost said in a statement that 51 possible victims were also offered health services and other support during “Operation Ohio Knows,” which was conducted from September 24 to October 1. U.S. Marshals conducted a simultaneous investigation that reportedly resulted in 10 missing children being found.
According to the Attorney General’s office, 161 individuals were arrested while trying to solicit sex. Three of the suspects allegedly sought sex from minors.
Several agencies, including the FBI and Bureau of Criminal Investigation, participated in “Operation Ohio Knows.” Among those arrested include municipal employees, a firefighter, a teacher, a professor, a pilot, and a city councilman.
Most of the suspects were charged with engaging in prostitution, but some faced additional charges for possessing drugs or firearms, officials said.
“People who traffic other humans are doing it for a really simple reason — money. And if there’s no demand then there will be no market,” Yost said on Monday. “Reducing the demand means we reduce the number of people who are victimized by human trafficking.”
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[Featured Image: Ohio Attorney General David Yost/YouTube Video Screengrab]