Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced on Monday, Oct. 26, the results of Operation Autumn Hope, which rescued 109 victims of human trafficking and arrested 157 men involved in the crimes, the Daily Caller reported.
“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!”
More than 50 law enforcement agencies rescued victims that had been trafficked and sent them to social services, recovered lost and sexually exploited children, and arrested those who sought to have sex with minors and/or adults.
The 157 men arrested in three counties were charged with soliciting sex and other crimes. Twenty-two of the individuals are charged with attempting to have sex with a minor. The charges against these individuals include felony counts of importation, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, possession of criminal tools, and other felony charges. Suspects include a pastor, students, and a resident rehabilitation counselor.
“These predators shamelessly target the most innocent and defenseless members of our community,” said Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin. “Operation Autumn Hope is sending a loud and clear message: We are watching, we will catch you, and we will protect our children.”
The operation is further evidence that cooperation between federal and state agencies can yield great results.
On Sept. 6, the U.S. Marshals Service announced the arrest of 262 dangerous criminals in Operation Triple Beam in Oklahoma, which was supported by the Department of Justice, the attorney general, and other agencies.
The Trump administration has made it a priority to fight human trafficking, one of the cruelest scourges our humanity has ever seen.
In January, the President signed an executive order to combat human trafficking and in September allocated $100 million in federal funds to the Department of Justice.
“The grants will go to 73 organizations across the United States to provide six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance for trafficking victims, including rental, utilities, or related expenses, such as security deposits and relocation costs,” the press statement explained.
Although little mentioned in the media, one of the functions that the wall the president is building on the border with Mexico is precisely to stop the influx of these human traffickers who bring children and women from Central America to be sold in the United States.
In one of his famous rallies, Trump said, “And when you look at what’s happening with human trafficking—and it’s mostly women—they traffic in women, and they pour through our borders,” he commented. “Well, every inch of wall that we put up is vital, and we’re putting up miles and miles. And we intend by next year, at the end of the year, to have anywhere between four hundred and five hundred miles of wall built.”