A Tiffin man is among 10 suspects who were arrested as part of an online child predator sting operation led by the Fremont Police Department last week.
Fremont Police Chief Dean Bliss said the goal of the operation was to catch men seeking to lure children into sexual encounters.
The Fremont Police Department worked with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI), Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office, and other agencies to conduct the sting.
Officers posed as juveniles on internet dating and chat apps, where they spoke with the men and engaged in sexually explicit conversations.
Bliss says many of the chats led to the men going to an agreed-upon location in attempt to meet up with who they believed to be a juvenile for sexual acts.
The following men were arrested and charged with attempted unlawful sexual contact with a minor and importuning, both felonies of the fifth degree:
- 37-year-old Corwin Zoeller, of Tiffin
- 42-year-old Ryan W. Smith, of Perrysburg
- 22-year-old Javante Tate, of Toledo
- 33-year-old Christopher Beier, of Fremont
- 24-year-old Michael Edwards, of Reynoldsburg
- 29-year-old Justin Keller, of Toledo
- 30-year-old Kyle Beck, of Maumee
- 29-year-old Allen Pedigo, of Toledo
- 35-year-old Terrance McCain, of Sandusky
- 35-year-old Joshua Vancleve, of Toledo
The suspects were taken into custody last week.
The Sandusky County Prosecutor’s Office has given police the go-ahead to continue performing sting operations to catch child predators.
“We want to do everything we can possibly do to keep our kids safe,” Fremont Police Chief Dean Bliss said in a statement.