New Albany, 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

New Albany is a city of about 11,000 residents in Franklin County, Ohio, located 15 miles northeast of the state capital of Columbus. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the city and surrounding areas, including drug use within the local commercial sex market.

In efforts to reduce instances of commercial sex in the city, local law enforcement has deployed various demand-reduction tactics targeting individuals seeking to purchase sex, such as web-based reverse stings. For example, in April 2021, a central Ohio sex trafficking and prostitution operation took place from April 14-15 in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement. “Operation 614” was coordinated through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office – Organized Crime Investigations Commission, and encompassed more than 20 law enforcement agencies and nongovernmental partners, including the New Albany Police Department, to address issues that fuel sex trafficking and prostitution in central Ohio. According to AG David Yost:

“Operation 614 is the latest in a long series of efforts to push back against human trafficking in Ohio. I am so proud of our law enforcement partners, who with their boots on the ground, made this operation a success. We all look forward to that day when no person is bought or sold for sex in Ohio.”

The operation, conducted in Columbus and surrounding suburbs included the following:

  • Identifying victims of human trafficking and referring them to social services
  • Apprehending those seeking to have sex with a minor
  • Arresting male sex buyers seeking to buy sex

As a result of the two-day operation 93 male sex buyers were arrested and 53 victims were identified and linked with advocates and social services provided by the Salvation Army. This operation was conducted in response to the creation of a new charge, engaging in prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor, which became effective on April 12, 2021, under House Bill 431. Under the new law, individuals arrested for sex buying were required to attend an education and treatment program aimed at preventing a person from inducing, enticing, or procuring another to engage in sexual activity for hire.

In October 2021, the New Albany Police Department participated in the largest sex trafficking investigation in the state of Ohio’s history. As a result of the statewide investigation, over 161 arrests were made, and officials also located several missing children. “Operation Ohio Knows,” coordinated through AG Yost’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC), was a collaborative effort that took place from September 24, 2021 to October 1, 2021 to address issues that fuel sex trafficking in Ohio. According to Attorney General David Yost, sex trafficking and prostitution are serious and widespread issues within the state of Ohio:

“People who traffic other humans are doing it for a really simple reason — money. And if there’s no demand then there will be no market. Reducing the demand means we reduce the number of people who are victimized by human trafficking. We will not rest until no one in Ohio buys or sells human beings.”

The operation included the arrest of 161 sex buyers – three of whom sought to sexually exploit minors in exchange for money. During the course of the operation, law enforcement officers also arrested individuals who possessed drugs and/or firearms. Most were charged with engaging in prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor. A change in state law passed in the spring required those convicted to undergo human trafficking education, a provision promoted by Attorney General Yost to decrease the demand for prostitution. Among those arrested were a teacher, a professor, a firefighter, a pilot, municipal employees, and a city councilman. Additionally, fifty individuals offering to sell sex – men and women – were arrested. Law enforcement officers interviewed 51 potential human trafficking victims, who were provided services from health care and social services organizations. A simultaneous operation carried out by the U.S. Marshals Service recovered 10 missing children.

Key Partners

  • New Albany Police Department
  • Ohio Attorney General’s Office
    • Bureau of Criminal Investigation
    • Organized Crime Investigations Commission
  • Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Columbus Division of Police
    • P.A.C.T Unit
  • Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
  • Delaware County Sheriff’s Office
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • Adult Parole Authority
  • Powell Police Department
  • Salvation Army
  • Southeast Mental Health Addiction Services
  • Franklin County Hope Task Force
  • Dublin Police Department
  • FBI
  • Grandview Heights Police Department
  • Grove City Division of Police
  • Hilliard Division of Police
  • Ohio State University Police Department
  • Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office
  • Reynoldsburg Division of Police
  • Upper Arlington Police Department
  • Westerville Division of Police
  • Sanctuary Night
State Ohio
Type City
Population 11085
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