(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) — The Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force in conjunction with Wickliffe Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested six men for attempting to buy sex, among them the president of Eastlake City Council, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Lake County Sheriff Frank Leonbruno announced today.
Eastlake City Council President John Meyers, 47, was among six men charged with solicitation.
“The point of our task forces is to send a message to those who buy and sell human beings: We’re coming for you, we’re going to bust you and make sure everybody knows what you did. Don’t buy sex in Ohio!”
Yost said. “Special thanks for Sheriff Leonbruno, whose office recently joined this task force and has hit the ground running.”
The five others arrested were: Ronald Bevier, Columbia Station, 30; Alvin Bridges, Euclid, 47; Andrew Champa, Wickliffe, 40; Garrett Kellogg, Strongsville, 20; Salvatore Longo, Beachwood, 44.
Bridges also faces a felony charge of drug possession. Each of the men received a summons through Willoughby Municipal Court.
“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is proud to be part of the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and proud of the collaborative effort of all the involved agencies,” said Chief Deputy Robert Izzo of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
“If even one victim of human trafficking can be identified and helped, then the operation is a success and worth the effort.’
“We will continue to work to help identify those who are taking advantage of these victims and bring them to justice.”
The task force additionally identified four potential victims of human trafficking, who were offered social services.
The task force is one of six law enforcement collaboratives formed under AG Yost’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission directed at combatting human trafficking.
The Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is led by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and includes the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Cleveland Police Department, MetroHealth Police Department, East Cleveland Police Department, Ohio Investigative Unit, Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.