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Cleveland man gets 40 years in prison for sex trafficking, child porn, shooting at federal agents

Rueben Rankin fired his gun at law enforcement six times while Homeland Security attempted to raid his Dove Avenue home in October of 2019.

CLEVELAND — A 36-year-old Cleveland man will serve four decades in prison for multiple sex crimes against children as well as firing a gun at federal agents almost three years ago.

Rueben Rankin was found guilty of all counts against him back in January, with U.S. District Judge Pamela A. Barker handing down Rankin's sentence today. The defendant had been accused of trafficking a minor and producing child pornography in order to obtain money for drugs, clothes, and a car.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Michelle M. Baeppler issued the following statement:

"Trafficking children is a heinous crime, one that has earned the defendant every day of his 40-year prison sentence. In addition to this evil act, this defendant recklessly endangered the lives of federal law enforcement officers, and our community is now safer with him behind bars. The Department of Justice will continue to bring the full force of the law against traffickers in Ohio and around the country."

Prosecutors say Rankin committed his sex crimes in May of 2019, and five months later Homeland Security attempted to raid his home on Dove Avenue in the Union-Miles Park neighborhood. As agents approached, Rankin fired six gunshots while sitting in his vehicle before one officer fired back. No one was hurt, and Rankin was arrested.

Rankin had originally faced charges related to the shooting before later being indicted for sex trafficking and child porn. He had also been prohibited from owning a firearm due to prior convictions for kidnapping, witness intimidation, aggravated assault, and abduction in Cuyahoga County.

Angie Salazar, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Detroit, said:

"Today's 40-year sentence is a testament to the collaboration between, state, local and federal agencies coming together to hold human traffickers accountable and provide victim's a tangible example on how we come together to protect victims, prosecute perpetrators and implement a whole-of government partnership with law enforcement and our NGO partners who are critical in this space."

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