Solon, OH

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Solon is a city of about 24,000 residents in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and is a suburb of Cleveland. It is part of Northeast Ohio’s combined Cleveland-Akron-Canton metropolitan area, the city population is about 23,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in Solon and in nearby communities and unincorporated areas of Cuyahoga County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example,  in August, 2019 a joint undercover operation was conducted by Solon police and the Cuyahoga County Human Trafficking Task Force at apartments on Enterprise Parkway, in attempt to identify and recover victims of human trafficking. Authorities previously had contacted and arranged meetings with several women who had posted explicit ads on various escort websites. Prior to the women’s arrival at the hotel, they had agreed online to engage in sexual activities for hire with the undercover officers. Once at the hotel, before arrests were made, the women confirmed the price and sex acts to be provided. After conformation was received, backup officers entered the various rooms and made arrests. Four women were arrested. Outside of the hotel, a car was seen dropping off one of the women, and the driver  was arrested was charged with drug possession and was cited for a suspended license.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. The Solon Police Department has collaborated with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and many other agencies to conduct reverse stings in its efforts to combat demand.  For example, in July 2019 the Ohio Attorney and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor announced stings in Northeast Ohio carried out during MLB All-Star Week.  Investigators called the efforts “Operation Triple Play” and “Operation Home Run.” At least 49 adults went to court on charges of soliciting prostitution, and other offenses including felony charges of Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Importuning, Possess Criminal Tools and Attempting Corruption with Drugs.  These and other offenses occurred when offenders chatted online with officers posing as teens, and arranged to purchase sex. Undercover agents from the Cuyahoga County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force participated in the operations, with the arrests targeting human trafficking around local hotels. Those arrested for trying to purchase sex with children ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s. The AG’s Office posted a news release that included the identities of all 49 people arrested.  Across both operations, participating law enforcement agencies included: The Ohio Attorney General’s Office; Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force (Columbus Division of Police, Ohio Investigative Unit), Mahoning County Human Trafficking Task Force (Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation), Cuyahoga Regional Human Trafficking Task Force (Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department), the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Office of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Newburgh Heights Police Department, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cleveland Police, U.S. Secret Services, Austintown Township Police Department, Solon Police Department, Streetsboro Police Department, Cortland Police Department and the Kent Police Department.

 

Key Partners

  • Solon Police Department
  • Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office
  • Cuyahoga County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • Cuyahoga Regional Human Trafficking Task Force (Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department),

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Local Prostitution:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Region:

State Ohio
Type City
Population 22947
Location
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