A three-day operation by Tallmadge police and the Cuyahoga County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force ended Aug. 15 with the arrest of four men on sexual misconduct charges.
According to Tallmadge police, investigators responded to several instances of people soliciting sex with children on various social media outlets. Those arrested arranged a meeting for sex with what they thought was a 14-year-old child, and then appeared at the stated location. An undercover officer was used as a decoy and all were arrested without incident.
Dustin L. Bowers, 27, of Tallmadge, was charged with two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, both fifth-degree felonies; attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony; and importuning, a fifth-degree felony. Bond was set at 10 percent of $25,000 during an arraignment Aug. 14, and he had a felony status hearing via video from jail Aug. 21. He remains incarcerated.
Brian H. Brown, 38, of Cuyahoga Falls, was charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a fifth-degree felony; attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony; and importuning, a fifth-degree felony. Bond was set at 10 percent of $50,000, and he had a felony status hearing Aug. 21. He is scheduled to be arraigned in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas Sept. 5. He remains in jail.
Brown is a registered Tier III sex offender who allegedly left a meeting with his probation officer to meet with the decoy. He was convicted of sexual battery in Cuyahoga County earlier this year.
Kevin J. Smith, 23, of Cleveland, was charged with one count each of the fifth-degree felonies of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning. Bond has been set at 10 percent of $20,000, and he is scheduled to be arraigned in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 5. He is still incarcerated.
Smith is employed at a day care center in the Cleveland area.
Daniel D. Miller Jr., 28, of Apple Creek in Wayne County, was is charged with one count of fourth-degree felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one count of fifth-degree felony importuning. After posting a $25,000 surety bond and being released from jail Aug. 19, he is scheduled for a felony status hearing in Stow Municipal Court on Aug. 26.
Other agencies participating in the operation included the Akron Division of the U.S. Marshal's Service Northeast Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and the U.S. Secret Service.
The Cuyahoga County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is federally funded under the direction of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, is comprised of 340 Ohio police officers and federal agents.
Editor's note: Reporter Holly Schoenstein contributed to this story.