Eight people seeking to buy sex were arrested during a human trafficking crackdown in northeastern Ohio that coincided with the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Game festivities in Cleveland, Attorney General Yost announced today.

“This operation’s mission was two-fold: to arrest johns soliciting sex and to proactively encounter potential victims,” Yost said. “Our task reinforced both the consequences for buying sex and the pathways available for victims to find a way out.”

Operation Fouled Out, coordinated through AG Yost’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, was a collaborative effort involving multiple law enforcement agencies and social services organizations to address the issues that fuel sex trafficking in Ohio. Led by the Cuyahoga Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, the operation took place leading up to Sunday’s All-Star game.

Law enforcement identified and interviewed 15 individuals selling sex. Potential victims of human trafficking were provided assistance offered by health-care and social services organizations, including the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and Canopy Child Advocacy Center.

“We are proud to showcase our city to the nation and world on this All-Star weekend, but we want to be clear that sexual violence and human trafficking have no place here,” said Sondra Miller, President and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. “We applaud the agencies that work collaboratively to hold sex offenders accountable today and every day.”

The operation resulted in the arrests of:

  • Brian Barlock, 45, Columbia Station
  • Bryan Fathauer, 51, Berea
  • Benny Gonzalez, 25, Lorain
  • George Keaton, 43, Broadview Heights
  • David O’Boyle, 49, Brookpark
  • Dana Parnell, 48, Mayfield Heights
  • Brandon Ruyten, 49, Rootstown
  • Michael James Smith, 48, Cuyahoga Falls