‘Don’t buy sex in Ohio!’: AG announces 104 arrested during statewide human trafficking sting

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced the outcome of a statewide human trafficking sting, called Operation 4th and Goal.  

During the news conference, Yost explained that Operation 4th and Goal was a 3-day undercover, anti-human trafficking sting conducted this week throughout the state that involved more than 30 law enforcement agencies.  

Yost said the victims included women, men, underage girls and a boy.

A total of 104 arrests were made during the operation, which was broke up into four parts:

  • Internet Crimes Against Children — 24 arrests 
  • Demand Reduction or Buyer’s Sting — 31 arrests 
  • Supply Reduction Female Out Calls — 17 arrests 
  • Supply Reduction Involving Street Prostitution — 32 arrests 

Yost says the results of the operation sends a clear message to the rest of the country,  “Don’t buy sex in Ohio.”

NBC4 was the only news station with law enforcement during several of the arrests. 

From the outside of a single-story, nondescript house in Grove City nothing appears out of the ordinary until a car pulls into the driveway and a man gets out.  

Standing next to the driveway wearing overall jean shorts and pigtails, a small figure greets the driver.  

Moments later, law enforcement personnel pour out of the home, taking the man into custody who’d come to the home to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.  

Turns out that “girl” is an undercover law enforcement agent in her late 20s. 

Orchestrated by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, or I.C.A.C., 24 men were arrested just outside that Grove City home.

From behind computers at an undisclosed location, undercover I.C.A.C agents were busy in chat rooms of various websites and apps, posing as that “14-year-old” girl or bait for the men arrested who were allegedly seeking sex with minors.  

Of the 104 total arrests, Yost says 34 were cuffed during a “buyer’s sting” focused on men trying to buy sex from children lured into prostitution. 

The arrested individuals are:

  • Timothy Coffey, 52, Columbus
  • Joshua Love, 27, Columbus
  • Jose Montoya, 22, Columbus
  • Christian Bryant, 30, Columbus
  • Michael Sweeney, 39, Columbus
  • Steven Weakley, 20, Grove City
  • Austin Kosier,31, Columbus
  • John Shimizu, 28, Dublin
  • Steven Wilson , 36, Columbus
  • Alex Kim, 22, Dublin
  • Steven Barcus,45, Westerville
  • Rick Birman, 59, Columbus
  • Mark Fitzgerald II, 32 , Portsmouth
  • Scott Fierro, 38, Marysville
  • Daniel Clingman, 38, Pataskala
  • Jonas Wernick, 20, Upper Arlington
  • David Bond, 48, Columbus
  • Neil Bond, 28, Methuen, Mass.
  • James Good, 33, Marysville
  • Brian Basil, 28, Grove City
  • Logan Detty , 21, Chillicothe
  • Cesar Lopez, 22, Columbus
  • Christian Gibson, 26, Groveport
  • Cody Conn, 22, Reynoldsburg

The following individuals were arrested on solicitation charges:

  • Javier Justinia, 39, Hilliard
  • Adrian Guglielmetti, 54, Westerville
  • Miguel Vasquez-Reyes, 20, Independence, La.
  • Matthew Savage, 48, Lewis Center
  • Vincent Rhoden, 40, Lewis Center
  • Kevin Albanese, 50, Powell
  • Marc Coughanour, 36, Clarkesville
  • Jaya Ponaka, 29, Powell
  • Brian Deck, 52, Lewis Center
  • Jesus Gonzalez Avila, unknown
  • Abshir Omar, unknown
  • Gary Jr. Childers, 39, Newark
  • Samuel Chitison, 22, Pickerington
  • Wesley Howard, 48, Pomeroy
  • Jonathan Otavalo, 23, Columbus
  • Dominic Hodge, unknown
  • Corbin Dotson, unknown
  • Lamont Brown, unknown
  • Vyacheslav Panasovich, Galloway
  • Earl Miller, 41, Waverly
  • Gregory Wilson, 62, Iroquis, Can.
  • Luis Alicea, 42, Columbus
  • Mohamed Mohamed, 29, Columbus
  • Michael Wilson, unknown
  • Christopher Davis, 34, Columbus
  • Quayjuan English, 25, Columbus
  • Michael Wilson, 46, Hilliard
  • Casey Barnes, 22, Newark
  • Virgil Caldwell, 53, Lockbourne
  • Joseph Friedman, 61, Canton
  • Emory Legge, 51, Bellefointaine
  • Miguel Tellez-Flores, 32, Columbus
  • Mark Williams, 66, Irwin
  • Darwin Menjivar, 31, Richmond Heights
  • Jarkay Jackson, 23, Cheyenne, Wyo.
  • Mouhmed Sene,28, Columbus

Additionally, 43 women were provided with social services and referred to CATCH Court.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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