Wisconsin Sex Trafficking

It really does happen here.

During a nationwide FBI-coordinated investigation of trafficking, the FBI, in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) conducted Operation Cross Country, a nationwide law enforcement action focusing on underage victims of human trafficking. In October 2015 more than 500 law enforcement officials in 135 U.S. cities took part in sting operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops and other areas recovering 149 sexually exploited children (youngest recovered was 12 years old) and arresting 153 pimps.   In Wisconsin, 9 juveniles were recovered and 11 pimps arrested. More than 50 adults were also recovered. Wisconsin tied for 3rd in the nation in the total number of juvenile trafficking victims recovered during the nationwide operation.  The total results of the operation in Wisconsin include:

Appleton: 1 adult recovered, 1 trafficker arrested

Brown County: 10 adults recovered, 3 traffickers arrested

Fond du Lac: 1 adult and 1 juvenile recovered, 1 trafficker arrested 

La Crosse: 2 adults recovered, 1 trafficker arrested

Milwaukee: 11 adults and 5 juveniles recovered, 1 trafficker arrested

Monroe: 1 juvenile recovered

Oak Creek: 5 adults recovered

Oshkosh: 3 adults recovered, 1 trafficker arrested

Racine: 20 adults recovered, 1 trafficker arrested

West Allis: 3 adults and 2 juveniles recovered, 2 traffickers arrested

“Operation Vanguard”


19 men were arrested in Wisconsin during a 3 day large-scale task force sting to catch child predators in March 2014. After the operation ended, the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department said one of its investigators continued an online conversation with a DePere man who thought he was talking to a 15-year-old girl. The man thought he was picking up the 15-year-old at a Starbucks in Ashwaubenon to take her to his home for a sexual encounter. Instead, two undercover investigators were waiting for him. The man was arrested bringing the total to 20. The sting targeted people who use the internet to solicit children for sex. Investigators responded to online ads of adults looking for sex with minors and talked with more than 1,000 individuals, arresting 20. Of the 19 charged: 

• 6 in Brown County

• 5 in Wausau

• 4 in Oshkosh

• 3 in Shawano County

• 1 in Outagamie County

One of the men arrested was in training to become a school bus driver in Shawano. He actually gave a statement to law enforcement admitting that he had been in communications with three different 15-year-olds. Court documents allege he planned on having sex with all three girls, not realizing they were all actually undercover officers. According to court documents, remarks from the men arrested included:

•  “ I know that sex with a minor is wrong.”

•  “ I thought they have to tell you if they are a cop.”

•  “ My sexual curiosity for young boys got the best of me today.”

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