"Undercover operations like this are important to shed light on the continued demand in the sex trade," said Attorney General Mike DeWine. "We want would-be buyers of sex to remember that they are never sure who they are speaking to online."
"This is not a victimless crime," said Chief Merkel. "We want the public to know that our department has an online presence and access to these websites used to purchase sex."
The arrests took place yesterday as part of an undercover investigation conducted by the Warren Police Department, Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crimes Against Children Unit, Austintown Police Department, Adult Parole Authority, Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, and Ohio State Highway Patrol.
"This operation was just one example of our ongoing efforts to work with various agencies to combat human trafficking in Warren," said City Law Director Greg Hicks.
"We're thankful to be able to have partnerships with the Attorney General's Office and local law enforcement to combat these types of crimes which also contribute to the ongoing opioid epidemic," said Director of Public Safety and Service Enzo Cantalamessa.
The 10 suspects were arrested after investigators said the suspects responded to online advertisements placed by law enforcement.
Suspects allegedly exchanged messages with an undercover officer arranging for a sexual encounter for-hire with an adult female.
Each suspect was arrested on a charge of solicitation after voluntarily arriving for the meetings in Warren.
These are the 10 suspects who were arrested:
• Robert Rohrbaugh, 44, Canfield
• Brian Glunt, 46, Warren
• Cean Nelson, 38, Akron
• Sergio Galazia, 29, Lowellville
• Brian Kerr, 45, Cadiz
• Lawrence Pasquarello, 35, Hubbard
• Michael Morton, 39, Niles
• Jason Miodrag, 36, Greenville, Pennsylvania
• Todd Lindberg, 52, Youngstown, Pennsylvania
• Gerald Rodriguez, 37, Masury
Additional undercover operations are planned in the future.