Lorain County Pair Indicted for Human Trafficking, Drug Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 29, 2013|
A man and woman from Lorain County were indicted for human trafficking and drug offenses after forcing a 16-year-old girl and 19-year-old woman to have sex for money, law enforcement officials said.
Jeremy Mack, 37, of Elyria, and Ashley Onysko, 23, of Avon Lake, were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking and drug trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking.
“This pair forced people, including a minor, to have sex for money,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “These activities happen all around us, and it’s the responsibility of the community and law enforcement to work together to end these crimes.”
“Jeremy Mack and Ashley Onysko used narcotics to gain control over their victims and forced them to engage in sex acts while lining their own pockets with money,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Field Office. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will utilize all necessary resources to bring to justice those that victimize our youth.”
“This is an example of local police and federal law enforcement working together to make our community safer,” said Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely.
Count one charges that between December 2012 and April 9, 2013, Mack and Onysko conspired together to provide heroin to Victim 1 and cocaine to Victim 2 and then, after the victims incurred drug debts, used force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion to compel them to engage in commercial sex acts.
They did this, in part, by posting photographs of Victim 1 and Victim 2 on backpage.com on a user account that Mack and Onysko created on December 25, 2012, according to the indictment.
In March 2013, Victim 2, a 16-year-old minor, went to Mack’s residence in Elyria after school, at which time Mack gave her cocaine. Mack later told and caused others to tell Victim 2 that she needed to engage in commercial sex acts. She did, after which she turned over all proceeds to Mack, according to the indictment.
From March through April 9, 2013, Mack brandished a firearm in front of Victim 1 and Victim 2, according to the indictment.
Count two charges that from February through April 9, 2013, Mack and Onysko caused Victim 1 to engage in commercial sex acts by using force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion.
Count three charges that from March through April 9, 2013, Mack and Onysko caused Victim 2 to engage in commercial sex acts by using force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bridget M. Brennan and Carole Skutnik following an investigation by the FBI and Elyria Police Department.
An indictment is merely a charge. All defendants are presumed innocent of the charges until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.