Undercover online sex sting results in 7 arrests, officials say

Seven men from Northeast Ohio were arrested in an online sex crime sting, authorities say.
Seven men from Northeast Ohio were arrested in an online sex crime sting, authorities say.(Elyria Police Department)
Published: Jul. 24, 2022 at 4:13 PM MDT
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LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO/Gray News) - An undercover operation by several law enforcement agencies in Ohio has resulted in the arrests of seven men for online sex crimes.

According to WOIO, the men are accused of interacting with and traveling to meet children for sexual activity, except the victims were actually undercover officers posing as children.

Authorities said the men listed below are facing charges of attempting to commit an offense of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor as well as importuning:

  • Mark Schnur, 53, of Elyria
  • Gary Lovelace, 33, of Avon Lake
  • Darrin Dudgeon, 36, of Avon Lake
  • Wade Ellis Hering, 24, of Elyria
  • David A. Bring, 42, of Wellington
  • Devon Francis, 27, of Amherst
  • Manuel Genao Vargas, 25, of Cleveland

The two-day sting, led by the Elyria Police Department and the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office, is called “Operation Watchdog.”

“Online predators remain a serious threat to our children... the success of this operation will send a message to offenders that you will be found, you will be arrested, and you will be prosecuted,” authorities stated in a news release.

The men were taken to the Lorain County Jail, and according to the release, additional charges could be possible.

Assisting agencies in the investigation were the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, Streetsboro Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Lorain Metro Housing Authority.

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