DAYTON — A recent statewide crackdown on human trafficking has led to the arrest of over 100 people, including a former employee of a local university and members of the United States Air Force.
“Operation Buyer’s Remorse” was a weeklong crackdown that sought to arrest those trying to buy sex and to identify survivors of human trafficking, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
The weeklong operation led to the arrest of nearly 150 “johns” seeking to buy sex. They were charged with engaging in prostitution, according to Yost’s office. Two others were arrested for seeking sex with minors, while six were arrested for promoting prostitution. Others were arrested for illegally possessing narcotics and/or firearms.
In total 160 people, ranging from 17 to 84 years old, were arrested, including Michael Masterson, of Dayton; Shawn Rykken, of Dayton; Ramesh Karki, of Richmond, Indiana; and Anil Wagle, of Richmond, Indiana.
Yost told News Center 7′s John Bedell Monday morning that Masterson was an administrator at the University of Dayton (UD).
“The Director of Excellence at the University of Dayton was one of the ‘johns’ charged. And candidly, I am shocked by the number of educated, disciplined, successful people that turned up in these stings like him. They know better,” Yost told Bedell.
News Center 7 reached out to the university and was told Masterson is a “former faculty member.”
“The University does not comment on individual personnel matters or ongoing investigations. The University considers this a law enforcement issue and defers to their handling of it,” University of Dayton officials said.
Bedell asked both the university and Masterson himself Monday when his last day at UD was. He didn’t get an answer from either but did obtain an email sent to some students this morning saying that Masterson would no longer be teaching their class.
Masterson was booked into jail last Wednesday and posted bail just hours later. Two sources told News Center 7 that he was teaching at UD as recently as the day after his arrest.
As seen on News Center 7 at 5 p.m., Bedell approached Masterson Monday outside of Dayton Municipal Court and asked about his arrest, the charges, and if he resigned from UD. He responded to each question with, “No comment.”
Rykken was identified by Yost’s office as a staff sergeant with the U.S. Air Force and Karki was identified as a professor at Indiana University.
The Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force also arrested Jason Goins, of Washington, D.C. Goins was identified as a major from the U.S. Air Force.
A Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesperson told News Center 7 Monday that Rykken was stationed at WPAFB. Goins was not stationed there, but the spokesperson couldn’t confirm where he was stationed.
Nearly 100 law enforcement agencies from across the state worked together from Sept. 25-30 to “stem the demand that fuels human trafficking.”
“The success of this operation is measured not only by the number of arrests but also by the resources offered to survivors of human trafficking and the intelligence gathered that will propel long-term investigations forward,” Yost said Monday.
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