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Chillicothe Street in downtown Portsmouth. (Aaron Payne | Ohio Valley ReSource)

Longtime Portsmouth attorney accused of human trafficking has died

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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A veteran attorney from Portsmouth who was charged last year with human trafficking involving six women — most, former clients —  has died, according to published reports. Michael Mearan had been taken to a hospital on Wednesday and died there Friday from undisclosed “health complications,” according to his attorney, Michael Siewert. A… Read More

Two Westerville police officers put a spit hood on a woman’s head during one of the Ohio Attorney General’s human trafficking stings.

The Ohio AG says stings rescue trafficking victims. Often that means they’re arrested.

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WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WYSO) — In April 2021, the Westerville Police encountered a possible sex trafficking victim at a hotel. They were conducting a human trafficking sting, part of a state-wide operation coordinated by the attorney general’s office to combat trafficking. According to the police report, she was soliciting sex and said she was giving her… Read More

Attorney General Dave Yost announcing the results of Operation Autumn Hope at a press conference at the Statehouse.

Over 100 Arrests, 100 Survivors In Ohio’s Biggest Human Trafficking Sting

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Around 50 law enforcement agencies have arrested 177 people and found 109 survivors in what’s considered the largest human trafficking sting ever in Ohio. Attorney General Dave Yost said Operation Autumn Hope brought in federal, state and local law enforcement to rescue survivors, recover missing kids, catch people seeking… Read More

Human Trafficking Awareness Day panel with a candle that is lit at the end of the summit in honor of trafficking victims.

Lawmakers Broadening Scope of Human Trafficking Awareness

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Ohio Democratic lawmakers brought in a big crowd for their 11th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio Statehouse in order to keep people up-to-date on the latest trends of oppression. Hundreds of survivors, advocates, and law enforcement heard about human trafficking not only for sex, but also for labor. Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) says a… Read More

Chains across a blurred out police car

New Bill Would Crack Down on People Who Make Human Trafficking Lucrative

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Ohio lawmakers are proposing a new bill to crack down on human trafficking by going after the people who fund the practice – those who recruit and force people into prostitution and those who pay for it. Ohio has passed bills to stop human trafficking but Republican Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) says it is still a big… Read More

Red and blue lights, as if from a police vehicle

More Than 100 People Arrested In Human Trafficking Sting Operation

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A three-day, multi-agency, undercover human trafficking sting in Central Ohio has resulted in 104 people being arrested. This sting is just the latest in statewide efforts to combat human trafficking. Attorney General Dave Yost says 30 police agencies worked together in this sting….an operation called “Fourth and Goal.” 53 of 104 arrests were for felonies,… Read More

Advocates Say Awareness Is Vital Tool In Fight Against Human Trafficking

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Hundreds of people gathered in Columbus for the 10th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day to discuss the most pressing issues related to the issue and share what has been working in their communities. Advocates, law enforcement, attorneys and human trafficking survivors filled the Ohio Statehouse atrium for the conference hosted by Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo)… Read More