Media > News Releases > October 2012 > Attorney General DeWine Announces Formation of Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force; First Inve
Attorney General DeWine Announces Formation of Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force; First Investigation Leads to Indictments, Arrests
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today the indictments of four Chillicothe residents who are under investigation by the newly formed Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.
"This is the first task force of its kind in Central Ohio," said Attorney General DeWine. "My office created this unit because human trafficking is happening every day in this area, and we need to be proactive to fight it."
Members of the task force began investigating the Chillicothe residents when a woman reported to authorities that the suspects brought her to Columbus under false pretenses and forced her to have sex with more than a dozen men over a period of several days.
Investigators believe there could be at least two more victims.
"These suspects placed advertisements on the internet offering up the victim as a prostitute and collected money from the men who answered the ads," said DeWine. "They forced the young woman to be a sex slave, and they will not get away with it."
Those arrested and indicted include:
. Roger Rider: Trafficking in Persons, Rape, Kidnapping, Promoting Prostitution
. Richard Evans: Trafficking in Persons, Rape, Kidnapping, Promoting Prostitution
Those indicted, but not yet arrested include:
. Craig Tackett: Trafficking in Persons, Rape, Kidnapping, Promoting Prostitution
. Mara Morrison: Trafficking in Persons, Kidnapping, Promoting Prostitution
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien's office will prosecute the cases.
The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is part of the Attorney General's Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC). The unit is primarily made up officers from the Columbus Police Department, along with officers from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), the Powell Police Department, U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
"The Columbus Division of Police is committed to investigating and stopping the trafficking of any human being," said Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs. "Our participation in this task force is a sign of our deep desire to protect our citizens and to prevent this heinous crime from occurring in our community."
"Every officer involved in this task force is a top notch investigator devoted to helping the people who are forced not only into the sex trade, but into the labor trade as well," DeWine said. "We are pleased by the success investigators have had so far and expect more arrests in the future."
Agents with BCI are also working with human trafficking task forces in northwest and northeast Ohio.
Attorney General DeWine also established a Human Trafficking Commission to work to analyze, research and find solutions for the human trafficking problem. The commission's research and analysis subcommittee plans to release recent study findings and suggest recommendations on how to prevent domestic sex trafficking next week.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Craig Tackett or Mara Marrison should contact either the Columbus Police Department at 614-645-4545 or BCI at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446).