Youngstown dispatcher among more suspects indicted in traffickin - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown dispatcher among more suspects indicted in trafficking ring

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L Ronald Hellman, R Charles Krusac L Ronald Hellman, R Charles Krusac
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

More suspects have been indicted on over 100 counts in relation to a Mahoning County human trafficking ring where nearly 90 victims are said to be involved. 

One of the suspects includes Elaine Hellman, 71, who served as a dispatcher for the Youngstown Police Department. 

The Ohio Attorney General's Office said Hellman faces one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly using her position as a police dispatcher to help Ronald Hellman, her son, avoid contact with law enforcement for his suspected involvement in the ring.

She has since been placed on unpaid leave.

Her 51-year-old son, Ronald Hellman, was also originally arrested on charges of compelling prostitution involving a minor. 

Back in July, authorities also arrested 78-year-old Charles Krusac of Austintown on 12 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance and three counts of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor. 

On Thursday, the court also charged two new suspects identified as James Jaster, 73, of Youngstown and Lori Jackson, 43, of Warren.

Jaster is charged with the following five counts:

  • Compelling prostitution, three counts
  • Promoting prostitution, two counts

Jackson is charged with the following two felony counts:

  • Trafficking in persons, one count
  • Compelling prostitution, one count

Krusac is charged with the following 74 felony counts:

  • Trafficking in persons, nine counts
  • Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, nine counts
  • Pandering obscenity involving a minor, 46 counts
  • Rape, one count
  • Compelling prostitution, four counts
  • Promoting prostitution, five counts

Ronald Hellman is charged with the following 22 felony counts:

  • Trafficking in persons, eight counts
  • Rape, six counts
  • Compelling prostitution, two counts
  • Promoting prostitution, six counts

The charges filed Thursday relate to a total of nine different adult and juvenile victims, according to the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

There are 104 charges in total between all five suspects. 

Officials from the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office said nearly 90 victims have been involved in a large human trafficking ring said to have taken place for more than a decade.

The investigation began in July after a tip that Krusac was allegedly creating child pornography involving at least one area juvenile.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office said the investigation then expanded to uncover a large-scale human trafficking ring where Hellman is accused of forcing multiple women and juveniles to engage in sexual conduct with himself, Krusac and others.

Mahoning County Sheriff Office Major Jeff Allen told 21 News he believes the ring has been going on for about 15 years.

Authorities suspect that there could be additional victims who have not yet been identified.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is urged to contact the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Tip Line at 330-480-4940.

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