The four-day sting ran from July 6 to July 9 and targeted individuals seeking to engage in sexual conduct with children.
"Online predators are a hidden threat to children throughout this community," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley said Thursday in a prepared statement. "The success of this operation should serve as a stern reminder to perpetrators — if you attempt to exploit children online, we will catch you."
Authorities accused the defendants, ages 20 to 67 years old, of engaging in sexually explicit online conversations with undercover task force officers posing as children on social media. The defendants expressed an interest in engaging in sexual activity and/or disseminated images of their genitals, authorities said.
The suspects traveled to a pre-arranged location and were arrested. Some came with condoms, personal lubricant, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, authorities said.
The charges include attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and importuning. Additional charges are possible, authorities said.
Those arrested were:
• Jacob Hale, 20, of Cleveland
• Kyle Ferguson, 21, of Medina
• Denis Ismailaj, 22, of Lakewood
• Jacob Hoover, 22, of Brunswick
• Tyler Reed, 23, of Parma
• Luis Ponciano, 23, of Lorain
• Sebastien Juin, 24, of Cleveland
• Jonathan Staples, 24, of Barberton
• Maurice Cannon, 26, of Cleveland Heights
• Julio Torres, 26, of Cleveland
• Jamal Williams, 26, of Cleveland
• Justin Raab, 26, of Painesville
• Michael Mills, 27, of Westlake
• Douglas Rosenthal, 27, of Cleveland
• Peter Nelson, 28, of Cleveland
• Jason Chandler, 28, of Akron
• Carlos Crespo, 29, of Brunswick
• Anthony Gentry, 29, of Youngstown
• Aaron Hawley, 30, of Sheffield Village
• Scott Carrigan, 31, of Chardon
• Phillip Pate, 31, of Lakewood
• Derek Simon, 31, of Lakewood
• Jason Conley, 32, of Painesville
• Steven Prest, 36, of Youngstown
• Eric Flores, 40, of Cleveland
• Vincenzo Rampini, 43, of Mentor
• Norman Thompson, 49, of Chesterland
• James Schultz, 67, of Parma
Operation Triple Play was coordinated by the Ohio ICAC Task Force with the assistance of the Ohio Attorney General's Office and Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Newburgh Heights police, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S Secret Service, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, Solon police, Wooster police, Streetsboro police, Austintown Township police, Kent police and Cortland police.
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