“Rescued from Evil” – U.S. Marshals Operation Recovers 45 Missing Children, 177 Arrested in Ohio

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U.S. Marshals in Ohio have completed the largest anti-human trafficking operation in state history. “Autumn Hope,” as the operation is called, recovered 45 missing children and 109 human trafficking survivors.

“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,” Ohio Attorney General David Yost said in a press conference. “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 agencies were involved in the operation which resulted in 177 arrests.The majority of the arrests occurred in the Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus areas.

Officials say suspects were charged with felony counts of importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, possession of criminal tools and other felony charges.

AG Yost said human trafficking is not just limited to urban areas and said Ohio’s status as the “crossroads of America” plays a role as well.

“We have a lot of home-grown human trafficking too,” Yost said. “It operates in the shadows.”

U.S. Marshals say they were able to close 76 missing child cases as a result of the operation.

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