Warren Law Director says drugs linked to sex trafficking - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Warren Law Director says drugs linked to sex trafficking

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WARREN, Ohio -

Ten men are charged with solicitation following a "sex for hire" sting operation in Trumbull County. 

Warren authorities say the sting operation had been in the planning stages since July with the Attorney Generals office and various other law enforcement agencies.

"Setting up what we refer to as a John Sting,  where individuals who were attempting to solicit sex for money from young women," said Greg Hicks, Warren City Law Director.

Attorney Robert Rohrbaugh and Fitch High School Girl's bowling coach Todd Lindberg were among those charged with solicitation in Warren Municipal Court.

According to a news release from the Austintown Schools, Lindberg has been suspended pending the investigation.

“Our top priority is the safety of the young ladies on the team. As soon as we received information about the arrest last evening we immediately placed the coach on suspension, said Superintendent Vincent Colaluca, who added that the arrest is not affiliated with the Austintown Schools in any way.

Colaluca said the administration at Fitch will be communicating with the students and parents this afternoon.

According to a statement from the school district, Lindberg had a clean BCI/FBI background check and drug screen when he was hired.

Eight others, ranging in age from twenty-nine to forty-six were arrested over a seven-hour period on Wednesday.

 The sting consisted of responses to online ads for sex placed by law enforcement.  The men were arrested when they showed up at a designated location.

Others arrested include:

Sergio Galazia, age 29

Brian Glunt, age 46

Brian Kerr, age 45

Jason Miodrag, age 36

Michael Morton, age 39

Cean Nelson, age 38

Larry Pasquarello, age 35

Gerald Rodriguez, age 37

Hicks says the drug epidemic contributes to sex trafficking. "Obviously what feeds some of that is prostitution, it's where the money comes from to purchase the drugs," Hicks said. 

The law director hopes this sting operation will send a message and be a deterrent. Police say they have access to websites used to purchase sex and would-be buyers of sex need to remember they are never sure who they are speaking to online.

"And this is just one more way to try to disrupt that activity," according to Hicks.

The ten defendants are free on personal bond pending further court action. The maximum penalty for solicitation is $750 fine and 90 days in jail.

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