Lake County, Illinois Sting Operation Nets 12 Arrests in Fight Against Human Trafficking

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Waukegan, Illinois — Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group (SIG) has arrested 12 men in a targeted operation.

The task force, supported by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, focused on apprehending customers of prostitution, often referred to as “Johns.” The operation, conducted over the internet using classified advertising sites frequently associated with prostitution, resulted in the arrests when these individuals offered money to undercover detectives for sexual acts.

Sheriff John D. Idleburg emphasized the connection between prostitution and human trafficking, noting that many involved in sex work are victims of coercion, fraud, or physical force. He stressed the importance of reducing demand to combat human trafficking effectively.

The arrested individuals have been charged with ‘Solicitation of a Sexual Act,’ a Class A misdemeanor, and are due in court on December 21, 2023. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This operation is part of a broader nationwide effort that has led to over 15,000 arrests in the past decade, marking a substantial step in the fight against human trafficking.

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