Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force Updates Progress on Investigation



Nine Individuals Indicted for Crimes Against Children

(MCCONNELSVILLE, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Morgan County Sheriff Douglas McGrath and members of the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force have provided an update on a large-scale human trafficking investigation that began nearly 10 months ago.

“This task force waded into a cesspool of ‘alleged men’ who were trafficking a juvenile victim and sexually exploiting children – pure filth,” Yost said. “Sheriff McGrath, Sheriff Mincks and the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force are making it clear that this criminal behavior isn’t welcome in their counties.”

In August 2021, the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, formed under the Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, received information that Rusty Campbell of McConnelsville was trafficking a juvenile victim in exchange for money, methamphetamine and other favors. During the course of the subsequent investigation, task force officers learned that Campbell also was having sex with additional juvenile victims, creating child pornography and participating in an online group sharing explicit videos of child sexual abuse.

“Sexual abuse of children is one of the most heinous crimes that exists and sadly we are not immune from this evil in our community,” Sheriff McGrath said. “Thankfully, joint resources through the task force allowed law enforcement to act swiftly and arrest the offenders before they hurt more children. I would especially like to thank Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks and the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force for their instrumental role making Morgan County a safer place.”

Campbell was arrested and indicted in Morgan County Common Pleas Court on one count of rape, five counts of human trafficking, 27 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

The task force then focused its investigation on other involved parties, resulting in numerous arrests and indictments in Morgan County:

  • Daniel Charles was indicted on one count of human trafficking, 20 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and compelling prostitution.
  • Caleb Clemens was indicted on one count of human trafficking, corruption of a minor and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
  • Cody Dingey was indicted on one count of human trafficking and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
  • Dustin Harlow was indicted on one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
  • Matthew Haynes was indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced to three years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender upon release. The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations and the Columbus Division of Police assisted with Haynes’ arrest.
  • Tyler Matheney was indicted on one count of human trafficking, three counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
  • Brian O’Neil was indicted and pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one count of importuning. He will be sentenced Aug. 2.
  • Dean Smith was indicted on eight counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

The task force’s investigation remains ongoing as additional suspects are identified.

Anyone with additional information about this investigation or knowledge of additional victims of human trafficking is encouraged to contact the task force directly through the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 740-376-7070 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-3737-888.

The Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is led by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and includes the Marietta City Police Department, Marietta College Police Department, Washington County Prosecutor’s Office, Noble County Sheriff’s Office, Noble County Prosecutor’s Office, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Athens Police Department, Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and the Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office.

Indictments are criminal allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proved guilty in a court of law.

 

Information courtesy of the Attorney General of Ohio