Raid at Brook Park motel aims to end suspected human trafficking

Raid at Brook Park motel aims to end suspected human trafficking

BROOK PARK, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland 19 cameras were rolling as a task force of state, county and local police swept into the Travelodge on Brookpark Road. Investigators had spent months documenting any number of crimes here. Gunfire, drugs, thefts, fights, prostitution, even drug deaths. Prosecutor Timothy McGinty's numbers from just two years were staggering saying "More than 650 service calls took place to this motel and the attached bar."

One allegation is particularly troubling, one of human trafficking.  "That kind of let us know you know that the problem here is more serious than we ever thought and that case has been disposed of."  The raid ends a thirty year long problem for Brook Park according to Mayor Tom Coyne who commented "This has been an achievement that has been long in coming."

"I have nowhere to go, I'm homeless right now" said one of the displaced people. That is the downside, albeit a temporary one. Many who stay here
are down on their luck and did nothing wrong. They had to leave because the place will be boarded up as the city moves to have it demolished. Many left with all their belongings.

It may take a couple days to close the motel no one is being allowed in but some of the people who left had paid in advance. The man in charge
offered no explanation when we tried to get help for the homeless and tried to block a television camera saying "This needs to be stopped now."  We asked "are you gonna refund the people's money.  The people need their money back and you're not giving it to them.  They have nowhere to go."  We got no reply other than his order to leave.

A displaced woman said, "I paid for this room for two weeks, she does not wanna give me my money back or nothing."  For now a church next door and the Red Cross are helping.

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