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Eastlake City Council Speaker Arrested in Human Trafficking Sting

Meyers could be sentenced to 60 days in prison for third degree misdemeanor solicitation.

PAINESVILLE, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Tuesday that six men have been arrested in connection with a Lake County human trafficking sting.

Eastlake City Council Chairman John Myers has been charged with solicitation, which is a third-degree misdemeanor, according to the AG’s office. Records of the case were not immediately available, but the 47-year-old reportedly received a subpoena through Willoughby District Court.

Yost spoke to 3News on Wednesday about the sting operation and the task force’s efforts to stop human trafficking.

“The message is don’t buy sex in Ohio,” he said. “If you are buying sex in Ohio, you should know that we have highly skilled investigators looking for you. They will find you. You will be charged.” The community will know what you did.”

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Yost said his Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force worked with both the Wycliffe Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on the operation. Authorities say they have identified and provided social services to four potential trafficking victims in addition to the suspect.

“By tracking down those who are funding this modern day slavery, we intend to make our communities as safe as possible,” Yost said.

The operation took weeks to plan and was carried out at the Wycliffe hotel on Friday night, according to Deputy Commissioner Robert Izzo of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. , said law enforcement officers pretended to sell sex, advertise on websites and share location information.

“It works both ways. Some people pretend to be people selling sex, but some people pretend to be people looking for it,” he said. , focused on finding potential victims of human trafficking.”

Deputy Chief of Staff Izzo said the goal is to identify those “trapped” who are in a vulnerable position with no way out. He said there were victims’ advocates who were on the scene to assist.

“It affects all areas of life, all walks of life, in all areas,” he said. It’s focused on people trying to take advantage of someone who might be trapped in this lifestyle.”

Meyers, who has represented Ward 2 in Eastlake since 2016, could face up to 60 days in prison if convicted. 3News reached out to Meyers but did not hear back.

Eastlake Ward No. 3 City Councilman Jason Kasnick said he was surprised to hear the news of Myers’ arrest.

“I didn’t expect this to be in his character, and I didn’t expect him to get into something like that, so it was a complete surprise to me.

Kaznick said Myers is a “pretty active member” of the city council, has attended many city events, and is “very involved.”

“This is a complete surprise, but it certainly does not indicate what is happening among civil servants,” Kasnick said.

The identities of the other five arrested are as follows:

  • Ronald Bevia, Columbia Station, 30
  • Alvin Bridges, Euclid, 47 (also facing felony drug possession charges)
  • Andrew Champa, Wycliffe, 40
  • Garrett Kellogg, Strongsville, 20
  • Salvatore Longo, Beachwood, 44

In a statement, Wycliffe Police Department Detective Lieutenant James Couric told 3News’ Isabelle Lawrence:

“Each of the six adult men was charged with soliciting prostitution, a third-degree misdemeanor. The Wycliffe Police Department was cooperative throughout the arrest process, with the exception of one person charged with drug possession who was detained in the city jail for a bail hearing. was released on a subpoena to the prostitution and the potential for those involved to become victims of human trafficking. We look forward to continuing our partnership with both in the future.

https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/local/lake-county/eastlake-city-council-president-john-meyers-arrested-lake-county-human-trafficking-sting/95-0208776f-714b-4145-9736-9ed26568686d Eastlake City Council Speaker Arrested in Human Trafficking Sting

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