8 men arrested in Liberty Township prostitution sting - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

8 men arrested in Liberty Township prostitution sting

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LIBERTY TWP, Ohio -

Eight people are facing charges after a prostitution roundup in Liberty Township on Thursday. 

The operation, which was conducted by the Ohio Attorney General's office and Liberty Township police, took place from Thursday afternoon into the evening. 

Police would pose as young girls in online ads and chatrooms and set up meetings with the suspects, who were then arrested when they showed up. 

Liberty police chief Toby Meloro said in many cases; the suspects believed they were meeting girls who were underage. 

"We will continue to hold those buying and selling sex accountable, along with these websites that host sex trafficking advertisements," Meloro said in a news release. 

Seven of the men arrested are charged with possession of criminal tools and solicitation. They are Thomas Biroschak of Canfield, 29, Patrick Cassidy of Hubbard, 52, Joseph Smith of Niles, 39, Brian Stewart of Kinsman, 37, Francis Cerech of Campbell, 25, Terrance Flanagan of Niles, 51 and Louis Stirk of Youngstown, 47. 

One other suspect, Brian Evans of Youngstown, 47, also faces felony drug possession charges. 

The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force also assisted in the operation. 

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