Law enforcement arrested 10 men, including a teacher, a school principal and a registered sex offender, in a human trafficking scam.
The Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force arrested the men, aged between 30 and 55, Thursday in the town of North Olmsted.
The Westshore Enforcement Bureau and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force worked with the North Olmsted Police Department in the day-long operation, bringing all 10 men to justice on sex-related crimes FoxNews.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost confirmed the successful investigation in a statement on Friday.
“Yesterday was an outstanding day for the task force,” Yost said.
“Your commitment to eradicating the scourge of human trafficking is transforming the lives of victims and is having a major impact on the region.”
Among those arrested and charged was Jeffrey Ohl, 53, a middle school teacher at Keystone Local Schools, according to a local outlet in Ohio 19 news.
District Superintendent Dan White issued a statement following the announcement of Ohl’s arrest, noting that the teacher was immediately suspended from his position.
“Jeffrey Ohl has been arrested and charged with prostitution, according to a statement by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost,” White told the news outlet.
“As soon as we were made aware of the situation, Ohl was immediately suspended and barred from county property.”
The commissioner added: “We are cooperating with law enforcement. For legal reasons, we cannot comment on ongoing police investigations.”
Also arrested in the crime was former Westlake City Schools principal Dan Keenan Jr., 53.
Keenan also served as a wrestling coach at Lee Burneson Middle School from 2015 to 2022.
A Westlake City Schools official confirmed after the arrest, according to 19 News, that Keenan was no longer affiliated with the county.
He was also identified as the executive director of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, a nonprofit that supports students and teachers in Cleveland, a spokesman for the Ohio attorney general’s office said Crain’s Cleveland shop.
Errol Jackson, 35, a third-degree sex offender, was also arrested in Thursday’s crime.
Jackson was arrested on charges of allegedly promoting prostitution and has been held behind bars in the Cuyahoga County Jail, with more charges pending, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
The other seven men arrested in the case are Ahmed Aljabri, 41; Sha Chuwan, 32; William Minor, 52; Erwin Palma-Torres, 30; Jacob Saffron, 32; Raymond Schillinger, 53; and Carl Whepley Jr., 55.
Officials confirmed that in the human trafficking case, seven potential victims have been identified and have been provided with care and resources from the Canopy Child Advocacy Center, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and the Harriett Tubman Movement.
Earlier Thursday, before the arrests, another man, Steven Gilbert, 36, was convicted of 31 human trafficking offenses by a Lorain County judge and sentenced to life in prison.
Investigators working on the case determined that Gilbert had been targeting drug addicted women on behalf of the human trafficking ring.
The North Olmsted Police Department stressed in one post on Facebook that while their efforts in the city have been successful, human trafficking remains a national problem.
“Activities like this are not a North Olmsted problem. These activities are a problem for every city,” the department wrote.
“You might think that’s not happening in your community, but you can tell from the addresses of those arrested that they will be traveling to hotels in our communities to find what they are looking for.”
For more crime content, check out The US Sun’s coverage of why serial killer Jeremy Bamber thinks he’s being released after 38 years in prison.
The US Sun also has the story about a family’s request of a missing woman who met her fiancé on Craigslist.