CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that 31 individuals were arrested as part of “Operation Deja Vu,” an undercover operation led by the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force*.  The four-day operation ran from Wednesday, May 19 to Saturday, May 22, 2021.  The purpose of the operation was to identify and arrest individuals interested in engaging in sexual activity with whom they believed to be minor children.

“The success of our operations has indicated that these predators will stop at nothing to exploit our community’s most vulnerable – our children. We will continue to pursue them and bring them to justice.”

Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley

The defendants, 20 to 80-years-old, engaged in sexually explicit online conversations with undercover officers posing as children. Contact was initiated through popular social media applications. The defendants expressed an interest in engaging in sexual activity with the purported children. Some of the defendants disseminated images of their genitals and others offered to pay for sex during the online conversations.

Following the conversations, the offenders traveled to a pre-arranged location, which was a vacant house in Cuyahoga County, to engage in sexual activity with purported children. Upon arriving, they were arrested by law enforcement officers and transported to the Cuyahoga County Jail. Several offenders were in possession of numerous items that were seized and taken into evidence – which included vehicles, a bicycle, condoms, personal lubricant, body lotion, a pocketknife, firearms, bullets, gun magazines, holsters, codeine tablets, marijuana, a drug pipe, bottles of champagne, cellphones, watches, HP tablet, USB drive, and cash.

Initial charges – ranging from third-degree to fifth-degree felonies – were filed against the defendants that include: Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct With A MinorDisseminating Matter Harmful to JuvenilesImportuningCompelling ProstitutionCarrying A Concealed WeaponFailure To Comply and Possessing Criminal Tools. Each case will be presented to a Cuyahoga County grand jury.

The arrested individuals include:

  • Arash Atai, 28, Lakewood, OH
  • Brett Fryberger, 28, Lakewood, OH
  • Charles Matthews, 21, North Randall, OH
  • Craig Bongiovanni, 53, Columbia Station, OH
  • Daron Carstarphen, 27, Cleveland, OH
  • Domingo Gonzalez III, 27, Cleveland, OH
  • Eric McCloskey, 41, Parma Heights, OH
  • Hector Soto-Martinez, 33, Parma, OH
  • Ismael Caballero-Trejo, 40, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  • James Corcoran, 80, Cleveland, OH
  • Jaylin Veasey, 20, Cleveland, OH
  • Jayson Sanabria-Cruz, 29, Cleveland, OH
  • Jeremy Purpura, 33, Middleburg Heights, OH
  • Joshua Vega, 22, Cleveland, OH
  • Justin Harge, 23, Cleveland, OH
  • Kenneth Markus, 45, Amherst, OH
  • Kyle Shelton, 25, Uniontown, OH
  • Mario Robinson, 33, Twinsburg, OH
  • Melvin Hooks, 30, Cleveland, OH
  • Michael Smith Jr., 37, Cleveland, OH
  • Nicholas Barnum, 25, North Ridgeville, OH
  • Patrick Vorreiter, 36, Cleveland, OH
  • Quintin Abrams, 20, Willoughby Hills, OH
  • Randy Gray, 34, Canton, OH
  • Richard Dobson, 68, Maple Heights, OH
  • Richard Newman, 57, Rocky River, OH
  • Robert Mell, 34, Cleveland, OH
  • Romaro Golphin, 44, Cleveland, OH
  • Taequan Matthews, 26, Euclid, OH
  • Tyler Horn, 25, Cleveland, OH
  • Tyrese Stewart, 21, Cleveland, OH

“Operation Deja Vu” was coordinated by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and Ohio ICAC Task Force with the assistance of the Newburgh Heights Police Department, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Austintown Police Department, Streetsboro Police Department, Fremont Police Department, Cleveland Division of Police, and Solon Police Department.

This is the fourth undercover operation the Task Force has led since 2018. In May 2018, “Operation Memorial Dazed” resulted in the arrests of 22 offenders. In July 2019, “Operation Triple Play” resulted in the arrests of 28 offenders. In August 2020, “Operation Moving Target” resulted in the arrests of 27 offenders. The four-year total stands at 108 offenders arrested.

*Ohio ICAC Task Force:
The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is run under the direction of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and funded in part by a grant from the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The task force conducts proactive and reactive investigations dealing with the online exploitation of children and provides training and technical assistance to more than 375 local, state, and federal criminal justice affiliated agencies throughout the state of Ohio.