YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio ranks number five in the nation for the most human trafficking cases.
The problem is so big that a Human Trafficking Task Force was formed through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The operation utilizes state, local and federal law enforcement resources. Last year, 103 people were arrested for prostitution through the group’s efforts.
Much of the trafficking can be traced back to online peddling. The recent shuttering of the adult ads on the website Backpage com is a good first step to help curb the problem, but the reality is Ohio’s vulnerability also comes from its infrastructure.
Lieutenant Jerad Sutton at the Canifeld Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said while most trafficking that takes place in the state came from the Backpage website, other cases are ongoing. He said Ohio is a hub for prostitution because of the volume of traffic that moves through the state.