Ohio Human Trafficking Bust: Teacher, Professor, Air Force Members Among 160 Arrested
As part of a statewide crackdown on human trafficking, 160 individuals, including a 6th-grade teacher, a college professor, and two U.S. Air Force members, have been arrested in Ohio. This operation, aptly named “Operation Buyer’s Remorse,” not only led to these arrests but also identified over 100 human trafficking survivors who are now being connected to essential services.
The arrests, which began on September 25 and continued for several days, spanned every corner of Ohio, from Columbus to Cleveland, Toledo to Akron, Youngstown to Marietta. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost described it as a “concerted effort to stem the demand that fuels human trafficking,” emphasizing the involvement of nearly 100 law enforcement agencies and service organizations across the state.
The operation, led by the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, sought to combat human trafficking at its core. Those arrested ranged in age from 17 to 84 and included a diverse group of individuals, such as an EMT, nurses, former law enforcement officers, and retirees. Over the course of the week, 149 individuals seeking to purchase sex were arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution. Additional arrests targeted those seeking criminal sexual acts with minors, promoting prostitution, illegal drug or firearm possession, or outstanding warrants.
Among the arrestees were several notable figures, including Nick Claybourn, a 29-year-old sixth-grade teacher from Rushville, arrested on charges of engaging in prostitution. Claybourn, who had just started his teaching career in the Fairfield Union Local School District, resigned after being placed on administrative leave following his arrest.
The U.S. Air Force also saw two of its members apprehended: Staff Sergeant Shawn Ryken and Major Jason Goins. Michael Masterson, a former administrator at the University of Dayton, and Ramesh Karki, a professor at Indiana University, were also arrested. The universities and the Air Force have yet to comment on the arrests.
This operation underscores the critical importance of addressing the demand for human trafficking, which often involves the exploitation and victimization of vulnerable individuals. The fact that individuals from various backgrounds and professions were apprehended in this crackdown highlights the pervasive nature of this issue. It serves as a stark reminder that human trafficking is not confined to any one group or community.
The arrests made during “Operation Buyer’s Remorse” are a testament to the dedication of law enforcement agencies and organizations working tirelessly to combat human trafficking. This operation sends a clear message that human trafficking will not be tolerated in Ohio, and those who engage in such criminal activities will face the consequences of their actions.
In these troubling times, it is vital to remain vigilant and proactive in the fight against human trafficking, protecting the most vulnerable members of our society and ensuring that justice prevails.