Prostitution bust leads to eight arrests

(YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio) - The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force arrested eight men yesterday, part of a statewide effort to crack down sex slavery.

“There’s no way for men to know whether the sex they’re buying is from a woman in slavery or an allegedly willing participant — or for that matter, an undercover cop,” Attorney General Yost said. “Don’t buy sex in Ohio.”

The following were arrested on charges of possession of criminal tools and solicitation:

• Thomas Biroschak, Jr., 29, Canfield
• Patrick Cassidy, 52, Hubbard
• Joseph Smith, 39, Niles
• Brian Stewart, 37, Kinsman
• Francis Cerech, 25, Campbell
• Terrance Flanagan, 51, Niles
• Louis Stirk, 47, Youngstown

Last year the task force arrested eight men on April 18, 2018, in Warren.

The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force includes authorities and investigators from the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office; Ohio Attorney General Yost’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crimes Against Children Unit; Ohio State Highway Patrol; Ohio Adult Parole Authority; Austintown Police Department; New Middletown Police Department; Warren Police Department; Ohio Investigative Unit; and Youngstown Police Department.