December 20, 2014

Elyria
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FBI recognizes Elyria Police for role in sex trafficker case

mack jeremy.jpgELYRIA — After a year of investigations, court cases and testimonies, six police officers who investigated the case of convicted sex trafficker Jeremy Mack were recognized for their work Monday.

“These guys are working hard without any recognition,” Todd Wickerham, a member of the Cleveland division of the FBI said, adding that they went “above and beyond” in the Jeremy Mack investigation and should be recognized for their work.

The investigation began last spring when officers raided a home on Tattersall Court and arrested Mack, who they believed was giving young women drugs and forcing them into prostitution.

Mack was convicted of sex trafficking, drug distribution, conspiracy and witness tampering charges in February.

On Monday, Elyria police and the Cleveland division of the FBI met to thank officers who worked on the case.

Sgt. James Welsh, Det. Michael Fairbanks, Det. Mike Grooms, Det. Eric Grove, Det. John Davidson, who couldn’t attend the meeting, and Officer Joe Figula Jr. were given awards by the FBI and thanked individually for their contribution to the investigation.

“We don’t usually have the luxury of seeing the impact we make in the community,” Welsh said, adding that he was touched to receive the award.

During the meeting, members of the FBI thanked the Elyria police for making an initial break in the case and providing helpful testimonies during the court proceedings.

“His testimony at trial should’ve been recorded so you could play it for generations to come,” FBI member Kelly Liberty said of Figula’s testimony.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.