YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (KDKA) — Three men from western Pennsylvania and several more from Ohio are facing charges following the undercover bust of a child sexual exploitation ring.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has charged 24-year-old David Kent of Cranberry Township, 44-year-old Steven Sutton of Prospect, and 30-year-old Thomas Yakemovic III of West Middlesex.
Thirteen men from Ohio are also facing charges, including two men from Youngstown and one man from Cleveland.
The men are charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, possession of criminal tools and other felony counts.
According to the Ohio Attorney General, the men were taken into custody over the last three days.
The commander of Ohio’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force David Frattare said in a news release, “We will continue to do everything in our power to identify and apprehend these individuals before they come in contact with real children. Operations such as these should serve as a reminder that offenders will go to great lengths to exploit popular social media networks and mobile applications to gain access to children for their own sexual gratification.”
The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task for conducted the investigation.
Following their arrests, the suspects were arraigned at an Ohio court.
This is the second undercover sting operation in 2019 in the Youngstown, Ohio, area. Eight men were arrested in the first bust.