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Weirton man among those arrested in undercover sting operation

SALEM — A West Virginia man who showed up at a predetermined location in Salem expecting a female prostitute instead met Salem Police and an undercover agent with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force on Thursday.

Brad Leas, 45, of Weirton was issued a summons for misdemeanor charges of engaging in prostitution and possession of criminal tools after being detained on West State Street. He’s scheduled to appear in Columbiana County Municipal Court on Jan. 20.

The incident was part of an undercover sting operation targeting those attempting to buy sex online. An undercover task force agent posted an ad on a known website used for the solicitation of prostitution. Leas allegedly responded to the posted ad and requested that the undercover agent, who he thought to be a female prostitute, smoke a cigarette while performing a sex act on him.

He also allegedly requested an additional sex act, agreeing to pay $25 for the acts.

When he arrived, he was detained by the agent and assisting Salem police officers. He was taken to the police station and consented to a search of his phone.

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