(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and New Albany Police Chief Greg Jones today announced the results of a recent human trafficking operation.
The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission; the New Albany Police Department; and other law enforcement partners conducted a one-day sting yesterday that intercepted eight women engaging in prostitution.
The women were arrested, and victim advocates were on site to provide access to resources.
“Arresting the people who are the victims of human trafficking sounds harsh, but the complicated reality is that this often is the best way that law enforcement can help,” Yost said. “The bonds of human trafficking are often chemical chains of addiction and a hopelessness that there is no other way. This gives the survivors a chance to reset with services that are available.”
“It also gives the women the opportunity to provide information that can help put their traffickers behind bars, thereby protecting other victims like themselves,” Yost added.
“We look at this as an opportunity to try to help women, and sometimes children, escape prostitution and the inherent dangers that come with their exploitation,” said Police Chief Jones. “We are proud to partner with other law enforcement agencies to help break the cycle of dehumanizing activity and help these survivors begin a new and safer path.”
The agencies providing assistance or resources included the Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission and Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, New Albany Police Department, Dublin Police Department, Columbus Division of Police, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Salvation Army and Southeast Healthcare’s HOPE task force.