A Major League Baseball umpire may have seen the final out of his career after he was arrested and charged in Youngstown, Ohio, following a human trafficking sting operation.
Brian O’Nora, 57, who has been in the big leagues since 1999, was among 14 men caught Sunday in a single-day human trafficking operation targeting “individuals seeking to buy sex via the internet,” according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on the agency web site.
On Monday, Yost and Liberty Township Police Chief Toby Meloro made the announcement, which reads in part: “The operation, which took place on Sunday, was conducted by the Liberty Township Police Department in cooperation with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force, a task force under the attorney general’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission.”
Yost said, “John stings deter those seeking to purchase sex—reducing the demand for human trafficking—and serve as a reminder that these crimes are more prevalent and closer to home than you may think. Hats off to Chief Meloro and the Liberty Township Police Department on their successful operation.”
The men, ranging in age from 26 to 66, were arrested and charged with soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor, and possessing criminal tools, a first-degree misdemeanor. According to the Mahoning Valley task force, the arrests were made when the men arrived at a local hotel to pay for sex.
O’Nora worked multiple division playoff series, three all-star games—including the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland—the 2008 American League Championship Series and the 2012 World Series. He opted out of working this past season because of the coronavirus.
A Major League Baseball spokesperson declined to comment at this time.