Ohio man indicted for human trafficking

COLUMBUS — A Franklin County man has been indicted on 19 felony counts, including involuntary manslaughter and trafficking in persons, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced.

Paul Chiles, aka “Tommy Guns,” faces charges of trafficking in persons, compelling prostitution, promoting prostitution, possession of cocaine, possession of a fentanyl-related compound, involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, aggravated trafficking in drugs, gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Federal and state officials in recent weeks have announced the rescue of many children in Ohio and other Midwest states who were being held against their well and were being forced into prostitution.

USA Today reported that: “Days after the U.S. Marshals Service announced the rescue of 39 endangered children in Georgia, similar operations are ongoing in two other states as authorities target missing kids who may be victims of sex trafficking.

In Ohio, “Operation Safety Net” led to the discovery of 25 children ages 13 to 18 in less than three weeks, the Marshals Service said. The operation is likely to continue into October, U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott said.

A two-week operation is underway near Indianapolis, Darby Kirby, chief of the Marshals’ Missing Child Unit, told USA TODAY in an email Tuesday.

These operations are part of efforts at the local level to locate missing children rather than a coordinated nationwide sweep, Kirby said. Since 2005, the marshals have helped recover 1,800 missing children.”

The charges against Chiles stem from an investigation by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. In April, investigators discovered that Columbus resident Cecilia Riegel, 21, had died of an overdose of illegal narcotics provided by Chiles.

Chiles, 36, is currently being held at the Franklin County Jail on other charges.

The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force consists of members from the Columbus Division of Police, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Powell Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Salvation Army, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s Office, and Delaware County Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel’s Office.

Staff report

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