Columbus, OH- Operation Autumn Hope was the effort of over 50 law enforcement agencies. As a result, 109 human trafficking victims were rescued, and 177 suspects were taken into custody. Consequently, U.S. Marshal, Peter Tobin stated, “These are the same personnel who hunt down violent fugitives every day. I’m incredibly proud of them and pleased that they were able to apply those same skills to finding missing children. I know Operation Autumn Hope has made a difference in a lot of young lives.”
Subsequently, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost made some gut wrenching statements about the victim’s situations. Unfortunately, these acts occurred right in their communities. Many people unaware of the horrors transpiring right next door. Similarly, he said these despicable acts occur in the shadows of Ohio. He went on to say, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Yost also saying, “What you do to least of these, you’ve done it to me.”
Furthermore adding, “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.”
Attorney General Yost continued by saying, “Every agency on this team looks for the day when no person is bought and sold in Ohio. Don’t buy sex in Ohio!”
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene punctuated the arrests with threats to other wrongdoers. The Sheriff said, “If you’re using the internet to try and take advantage of underage individuals, we want it to be in the back of your head that you will be talking to one of us.”
The long fight
Ohio has recently been the sight of many human trafficking raids. For example, Operation Safety Net saw 25 missing children recovered. Additionally, Operation Moving Target saw 27 suspects arrested. The U.S. Marshals have continuously conducted operations. Merely a month ago, Operation Not Forgotten resulted in 39 children being rescued. These are only a fraction of the nonstop efforts to combat human trafficking. Moreover, the Children’s Rescue Initiative is working harder than ever.
To make an anonymous tip to the Marshals, please click here. To contact National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), dial 1-800-843-5678.