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An undercover operation in the Youngstown, Ohio, area netted arrests of 16 men — including two from Butler County and one from Mercer County — that allegedly sought to sexually exploit children, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
The investigation was carried out by the the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force, which is a part of the AG's office and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The agencies made the arrests last week.
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The AG's office said each suspect faces felony charge of importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and possession of criminal tools.
The local suspects are:
● David Kent, 24, of Cranberry, Butler County
● Steven Sutton, 44, of Prospect, Butler County
● Thomas Yakemovic III, 30, of West Middlesex, Mercer County
The other 13 suspects are:
● William Ragle, 25, Akron
● Dennis Dabney II, 47, Salem
● Ronald Woods III, 23, Austintown
● Ommar Castro Diaz, 24, Cleveland
● Nicholas Sammartino, 20, Youngstown
● Andrew Wirth, 30, Ravenna
● Joel Kurz, 30, Boardman
● Grant Geib, 24, Orville
● Darrell Davis, 60, East Liverpool
● Timothy Leverknight, 53, Salem
● Brian Underwood, 33, Youngstown
● James McClalin III, 39, Hubbard
● Charles Stumpf, 23, Akron
The AG's office said the recent arrests are the result of an ongoing operation. Another sting in the Youngstown area, on March 14, led to the arrests of eight men.
"This trap will be laid time and time again until the message reverberates — don’t buy sex in Ohio," said Dave Yost, the Ohio attorney general. "Task forces are a force multiplier and their success is evident in the number of criminals taken off the street."
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