Avon Lake woman pleads guilty to human trafficking, drug offense - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Avon Lake woman pleads guilty to human trafficking, drug offenses

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AVON LAKE, OH (WOIO) -

An Avon Lake woman pleaded guilty Friday to human trafficking and drug trafficking crimes after forcing four women, including two teens, to have sex for money, law enforcement officials said.

Ashley Onysko, 23, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking and drug trafficking. She is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 14, 2014

"This woman helped force teens 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."

"The defendants in this case 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 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.

Onysko's co-defendant, Jeremy Mack, 37, of Elyria, is awaiting trial.

Between December 2012 and April 9, 2013, Mack and Onysko conspired together to provide heroin to four victims with drugs, including heroin and cocaine 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 the victims on backpage.com on a user account that Mack and Onysko created on Dec. 25, 2012, according to the indictment.

At various times, Mack told and caused others to tell the victims that they needed to engage in commercial sex acts to repay the drug debts. The victims did, after which she turned over all proceeds to Mack and/or Onysko, according to the indictment.

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.

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