Ohio Attorney General David Yost said more than 50 agencies were involved in Operation Autumn Hope
Forty-five missing children were recovered in Ohio by the U.S. Marshals (USMS) as part of an October operation called “Autumn Hope.”
Ohio Attorney General David Yost said this is the largest anti-human trafficking effort in state history.
Yost said more than 50 agencies were involved in the operation resulting in the rescue of 109 human trafficking survivors and 177 arrests.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said 157 men were arrested on charges of soliciting and other crimes in Franklin, Cuyahoga and Lucas Counties.
Yost said the operation focused on four main points:
- Rescuing victims of human trafficking and referring them to social services
- Recovering missing and exploited children
- Apprehending those seeking to have sex with a minor
- Arresting male johns seeking to buy sex
Ohio Attorney General David Yost and other law enforcement agencies addressed the operation at a press conference on Monday:
About 20 additional missing children cases were also cleared.
The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force arrested 22 people accused of seeking to have sex with a minor.
Of those 22, eight were apprehended by the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said in a release, “Among those missing included a 15-year-old girl missing from Cleveland whose recovery linked her and other possible victims to an individual in Columbus suspected of human trafficking; a 15-year-old male with two warrants who is a suspect in multiple shootings and a homicide; and a 14-year-old girl who was reported missing by the Lancaster Police Department who was recovered in Columbus within six hours of being reported missing.”