Police: 8 human trafficking predators arrested in northeast Ohio

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An undercover operation targeting human trafficking predators has led to the arrest of eight men in northeast Ohio.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Liberty Township Police Chief Toby Meloro announced the arrests on Friday.

The suspects were taken into custody Thursday as part of the investigation by the Liberty Township Police Department and Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.

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The following were arrested on charges of possession of criminal tools and solicitation:

  • Brian Evans III, 47, Youngstown
  • Thomas Biroschak, Jr., 29, Canfield
  • Patrick Cassidy, 52, Hubbard
  • Joseph Smith, 39, Niles
  • Brian Stewart, 37, Kinsman
  • Francis Cerech, 25, Campbell
  • Terrance Flanagan, 51, Niles
  • Louis Stirk, 47, Youngstown

Evans III was also arrested on felony charges of drug possession.

This is the second undercover sting operation in less than a year in the Youngstown area. The task force also arrested eight men on April 18, 2018, in Warren.