LAW enforcement has arrested ten men, including a teacher, a superintendent, and a registered sex offender, as part of a human trafficking sting.
The Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force apprehended the men, whose ages ranged from 30 to 55, in the city of North Olmsted on Thursday.
Westshore Enforcement Bureau and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force worked with the North Olmsted Police Department for the one-day operation, bringing all ten men in on sex charges, per Fox News.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost confirmed the successful sting in a statement Friday.
“Yesterday was a banner day for the task force,” Yost said.
“Their commitment to wiping out the scourge of human trafficking is making a difference in the lives of the victims and having a big impact on the region.”
Among those arrested and accused was Jeffrey Ohl, 53, a middle school teacher at Keystone Local Schools, per local Ohio outlet 19 News.
The district’s superintendent, Dan White, issued a statement after the announcement of Ohl’s arrest and noted that the teacher was immediately suspended from his position.
“Jeffrey Ohl was arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution, per a statement from 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 District property.”
The superintendent added: “We are cooperating with law enforcement. Legally, we are not able to comment on ongoing police investigations.”
Additionally, the former superintendent for Westlake City Schools, Dan Keenan Jr, 53, was also arrested in the sting.
Keenan served as a wrestling coach at Lee Burneson Middle School from 2015 to 2022, as well.
An official from Westlake City Schools confirmed, after the arrest, that Keenan was no longer involved with the district, per 19 News.
He was also identified as the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation executive director, a nonprofit that supports students and teachers in Cleveland, a spokesperson from the Ohio attorney general’s office told Crain’s Cleveland Business.
Errol Jackson, 35, a third-tier sex offender, was also arrested in Thursday’s sting.
Jackson was arrested for allegedly promoting prostitution and was put behind bars in Cuyahoga County jail, with additional charges expected, per the Ohio attorney general’s office.
The other seven men arrested in the case were listed to be Ahmed Aljabri, 41; Sha Chuwan, 32; William Minor, 52; Erwin Palma-Torres, 30; Jacob Safran, 32; Raymond Schillinger, 53; and Carl Whepley Jr, 55.
Officials confirmed that seven potential victims were identified in the human trafficking sting, and they were given care and resources from the Canopy Child Advocacy Center, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and the Harriett Tubman Movement.
Earlier on Thursday, before the arrests, another man, Steven Gilbert, 36, was convicted on 31 human trafficking offenses and given a life imprisonment sentence by a judge in Lorain County.
Detectives on the case discovered that Gilbert had targeted women addicted to drugs for the human trafficking ring.
The North Olmsted Police Department stressed in a post on Facebook that although their operation was successful in the city, human trafficking remains a national issue.
“Activities like these are not a North Olmsted problem. These activities are an every city problem,” the department wrote.
“You may think it’s not happening in your community but you can see by the addresses of the people arrested, they will travel to find what they are looking for at hotels in our communities.”
For more crime content, check out The U.S. Sun’s coverage on why serial killer Jeremy Bamber believes he will be released after 38 years in jail.
The U.S. Sun also has the story on the plea from a family of a missing woman who met her fiancé on Craigslist.