A multi-agency human trafficking operation has resulted in over 200 arrests across the state.
As announced by Ohio Attorney General David Yost during a press conference on Monday, October 26, “Operation Autumn Hope” was the largest anti-human trafficking effort in state history, involving more than 50 agencies who rescued and temporarily detained 109 survivors and arrested more than 177 suspects on charges of soliciting, human trafficking, and other crimes.
According to officials, undercover officers arrested 80 individuals in the Columbus area. Officers had been targeting prostitution supply and demand in the West Side, Linden, and the Sullivant Avenue and Parsons Avenue corridors, as well as human trafficking and other crimes across central Ohio. Officers included those from Columbus Police’s PACT unit and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.
The Ohio AG’s efforts to eradicate human trafficking are commendable, and they have had a marked impact on helping survivors find the support and resources they need. This includes programs offered through CATCH Court, a specialized court for human trafficking victims.
As in all criminal matters, and especially so in large-scale operations where numerous suspects are arrested and emotions run high, defendants charged with crimes still have the right to due process, legal representation, and an opportunity to defend against allegations levied by the government.