MLB umpire among 14 men arrested in Ohio human trafficking sting


(NewsNation Now) — 14 men were arrested as part of a single-day human trafficking operation in Ohio, including Major League Baseball umpire Brian O’Nora, according to the state’s attorney general and the Liberty Township police chief.

NewsNation confirmed Brian O’Nora, 56, an MLB umpire since 1999, was one of the men arrested as part of the undercover investigation targeting “individuals seeking to buy sex via the internet,” according to the statement.

The arrests on Sunday were part of the “John sting” in Liberty Township.

“John stings deter those seeking to purchase sex – reducing the demand for human trafficking – and serve as a reminder that these crimes are more prevalent and closer to home than you may think,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “Hats off to Chief Meloro and the Liberty Township Police Department on their successful operation.”

According to a press release, the following men were arrested and charged with soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor, and possessing criminal tools, a first-degree misdemeanor:

  • Willie Daniels Jr., 37, Youngstown
  • Saad Elamin, 43, Campbell
  • Omar Farooq, 37, Hermitage, PA
  • Thomas Hendricks, 66, Salem
  • Ryan Kirkpatrick, 26, residence unknown
  • Harry Krause, 63, Youngstown
  • Matthew Lennington, 28, Cortland
  • James Lohmier, 38, Boardman
  • Nick Mymo, 37, Niles
  • Brian O’Nora, 57, Youngstown
  • David Shaffer, 46, Mineral Ridge
  • William Shaw Sr., 58, Moyock, NC
  • Brian Van Divner, 54, New Franklin
  • Johnny Young, 55, Youngstown

The operation was conducted by the Liberty Township Police Department in cooperation with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force, a task force under the attorney general’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission.

The men are expected to be arraigned in Girard Municipal Court on Tuesday.

NewsNation reached out to the MLB for comment on O’Nora’s arrest.

NewsNation affiliates WJW and WKBN contributed to this report.

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