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AG Yost, Sheriff Greene announce 14 arrests in Ohio's largest human trafficking sting

"If you're using the internet to try to exploit or take advantage of underage individuals, we want it to be in the back of your head that you might be talking to one of us," Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said.

COLUMBUS — What Ohio law enforcement officials are calling "the largest anti-human trafficking bust" in state history resulted in 14 arrests in the Mahoning Valley, they said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost this morning announced 177 suspected human traffickers were arrested during Operation Autumn Hope, a joint operation by more than 50 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

The operation also rescued 109 human trafficking survivors, Yost said.

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said his office, the county Human Trafficking Task Force and a multitude of other local and state agencies made 14 arrests in the area between Tuesday and Thursday for charges including:

John F. Kukura, 37, of Youngstown

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Matthew Zanni, 20, of Struthers

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Donald L. Lee, 44, of Akron

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

John M. Harmocy, 37, of Mineral Ridge

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Nathan Lucas, 36, of Hermitage, Pa.

  • An unspecified attempted felony charge
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Jarod Mills, 33, of New Castle, Pa.

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools
  • Felony displaying matter harmful to juveniles

Jason Walker, 39, of Salem

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Jeffrey P. Cornelius, 33, of Youngstown

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Bashar Abuzant, 30, of Youngstown

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Apostolos Sisalouis, 40, of Campbell

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Eric Jones AKA Eric Metansignh, 30, of Youngstown

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Sam Lay, 31, of Boardman

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Dwayne Sellers Jr., 29, of Youngstown

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

Youssef Jabaly, 27, of Sylvania

  • Felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • Felony importuning or soliciting of an adolescent
  • Felony possessing criminal tools

All these suspects have arraignments or preliminary hearings scheduled for Friday or Nov. 20, according to court records.

Two of the phones confiscated during the operation were found to contain child pornography, Greene said.

This is the fourth time Greene's office has conducted such a sting in the area, he said.

"Really, our message is quite clear: If you're using the internet to try to exploit or take advantage of underage individuals, we want it to be in the back of your head that you might be talking to one of us," Greene said.

Check back later on MahoningMatters.com for more updates.



Justin Dennis

About the Author: Justin Dennis

Justin Dennis has been on the beat since 2011, covering crime, courts and public education. Dennis grew up in Poland and Salem and studied journalism and communications at Cleveland State University and University of Pittsburgh.
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