Sex trafficking sting in northwest Ohio leads to over 50 arrests

Sex trafficking sting in northwest Ohio leads to over 50 arrests

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(Toledo News Now) -

More than 50 people arrested and four teenagers were rescued after a sex trafficking sting in the Toledo area. This was part of a nationwide effort to cut down on human trafficking and sex crimes. The sting wrapped up this weekend and detectives say all their time and effort paid off.

"Operation Cross Country" focused on human trafficking and related sex crimes.

"Our whole reason for existing is to combat the sex trafficking and try to recover these kids that are from Toledo and involved in sex trafficking, and try to get them out of the lifestyle," said Detective Swartz.

Undercover detective Swartz said they worked with Toledo police, the FBI, and several other local agencies to rescue four kids during this sting operation.

"For us, it's a great feeling when you get a 15 or 16-year-old girl coming to the hotel room and knowing that she's being trafficked, and being able to rescue her, and get her services and get her out of the lifestyle," said Swartz.

The operation started on June 15 and ran through Friday June 20 night. In total 5 pimps, 35 prostitutes, 10 johns and three others were arrested in northwest Ohio.

Detective Swartz says he hopes this sends a message to those involved in similar activities.

"We are very proactive in what we do and if you're out there sex trafficking the kids in Toledo and northwest Ohio, we are eventually going to catch up with you," said Swartz.

In addition to the arrests, Swartz says operations like this help them gain a lot of information. He says tips from those rescued could help lead them to more arrests in the future.

Read more about Operation Cross Country: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/june/operation-cross-country

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