Remaining child porn, trafficking suspects jailed in Mahoning Co - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

A Youngstown Police dispatcher was arrested

Remaining child porn, trafficking suspects jailed in Mahoning County

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Upper Row: Hellman, Krusac, Jaster Lower Row: Hellman, Jackson Upper Row: Hellman, Krusac, Jaster Lower Row: Hellman, Jackson
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

All five suspects implicated in an alleged human trafficking and child pornography operation have now been booked into the Mahoning County Jail since the first arrests came this summer.

A Youngstown Police dispatcher, 71-year-old Elaine Hellman is the latest arrest. She was indicted on Thursday on one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly using her position as a dispatcher to help Ronald Hellman, her son, avoid contact with law enforcement.

Those two and three other people face a total of 104 charges issued by a grand jury stemming from a human trafficking investigation led by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.

Investigators have identified nine adult and juvenile victims, but believe there could be as many as 90 victims and more charges could still be filed.

“The results of this investigation and the number of victims involved and exploited over several years is extremely troubling,” said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.

“Our investigation found that many of these victims faced violence if they tried to resist or their addictions were exploited to force their compliance," said Attorney General Mike DeWine, who characterized the case as “horrific”.

The investigation began in July after authorities received a tip alleging that Charles D. Krusac, 78, of Austintown was using a local juvenile to create child pornography.

Krusac was arrested during a raid at his Lou-Ida Boulevard home in Austintown.

The investigation led authorities to a large-scale human trafficking ring in which Ronald Hellman, 51, of Youngstown allegedly forced several women and juveniles to engage in sexual conduct with himself, Krusac, and others.

Charges were filed in August against both Hellman and Krusac who now face additional charges.

Krusac faces 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 was indicted on 22 felony counts:

Trafficking in persons, eight counts

Rape, six counts

Compelling prostitution, two counts

Promoting prostitution, six counts

During the course of the investigation, task force members also gathered evidence against two other people who they say were involved in the human trafficking ring.

James Jaster, 73, of Youngstown, is charged with the following five counts:

Compelling prostitution, three counts

Promoting prostitution, two counts

Lori Jackson, 43, of Warren, is charged with the following two felony counts:

Trafficking in persons, one count

Compelling prostitution, one count

“Let me make it perfectly clear that these young women and girls are truly victims, and I encourage anyone with knowledge of human trafficking to contact their local police,” said Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains. “That is the only chance these young women have is by incarcerating these human traffickers."

Prosecutor Gains is asking anyone with information related to the investigation to contact the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Tip Line at 330-480-4940.

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