Mary Alice Reporting – Over fourteen individuals have been detained related to investigations by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.

The charges are following a crackdown on targeting the demand side of human trafficking with arrests taking place through the month of January.

Undercover sting operations were conducted to target individuals attempting to buy sex with 52-year-old Ollie Patrick, of Mineral City, among those arrested. Others arrested are from Alliance, Youngstown, and multiple from Pennsylvania.

In addition, a 31-year-old from Youngstown and a 75-year-old from Richland are charged with engaging in a conversation and sexual act, respectively, with a juvenile.

There are four types of human trafficking; forced labor, forced criminal activity, sexual exploitation, and people smuggling. Some common warning signs include a person appearing malnourished, avoiding eye contact or social interaction, and if in a social setting, the person’s responses sound rehearsed or scripted.

Anyone in need of help can contact the National Human Trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733.

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