YOUNGSTOWN — State and local authorities have charged 16 men, including four from the Akron area, in an undercover sting targeting child predators.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office and Mahoning County Sheriff's Office said Friday the suspects were taken into custody over the previous few days as part of an investigation by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force, which is part of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. It's the second undercover sting operation this year in the Youngstown area, as a March 14 operation netted eight men.
"This trap will be laid time and time again until the message reverberates — don’t buy sex in Ohio," Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a news release. "Task forces are a force multiplier and their success is evident in the number of criminals taken off the street."
The following were arrested on charges of importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and possession of criminal tools:
• William Ragle, 25, Akron
• Charles Stumpf, 23, Akron
• Grant Geib, 24, Orrville
• Andrew Wirth, 30, Ravenna
• David Kent, 24, Cranberry Township, Pa.
• Dennis Dabney II, 47, Salem
• Ronald Woods III, 23, Austintown
• Ommar Castro Diaz, 24, Cleveland
• Steven Sutton, 44, Prospect, Pa.
• Nicholas Sammartino, 20, Youngstown
• Joel Kurz, 30, Boardman
• Darrell Davis, 60, East Liverpool
• Thomas Yakemovic III, 30, West Middlesex, Pennsylvania
• Timothy Leverknight, 53, Salem
• Brian Underwood, 33, Youngstown
• James McClalin III, 39, Hubbard
All those arrested have been arraigned through Canfield area court.