Kent, OH

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Kent is the largest city in Portage County, Ohio, and is located along the Cuyahoga River in the northeastern part of the state. The population is roughly 28,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented throughout the county and region. For example, between 2017 and 2019, state and federal agencies assisted local law enforcement agencies in an investigation in numerous cities and counties in northeast Ohio for alleged commercial sex crimes. The raids were part of a collaborative investigation between the Ohio Investigative Unit, the U.S. Secret Service, and local law enforcement agencies. The investigation started in 2017 when agents were tipped off about possible illegal activity. In addition to Medina County, 15 other search warrants were executed in Avon, Broadview Heights, Brunswick, Cleveland, Columbia Station, Copley, Kent, Lorain, Mansfield, North Royalton, Perkins Township, Strongsville, and Wooster. In some communities, search warrants were executed at multiple locations.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. For example, in July 2019, the Kent Police Department and the Streetsboro Police Department, along with many other law enforcement agencies, worked to arrest a total of 49 people suspected of engaging in human trafficking during the Cleveland All-Star baseball game weekend. The four-day undercover operation, led by the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, was intended to identify and arrest individuals interested in engaging in sexual activity with persons they believed to be minor children. The men — as young as 20 and as old as 67 — each engaged in sexually explicit online conversations with undercover task force officers posing as children. Contact was made through popular social media sites and the defendants expressed an interest in sexually abusing the officers posing as children or sending sexually explicit photos during the online conversations. When a plan was made to meet at a vacant house, police apprehended the men.

Key Partners

  • Kent Police Department
  • Streetsboro Police Department
  • Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
State Ohio
Type City
Population 27751
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