Brown Deer, WI

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Brown Deer, is a village in Wisconsin with approximately 12,000 residents, located in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Prostitution activity has been documented in the village and surrounding communities.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, in 2017, Wisconsin was a part of a nationwide prostitution campaign known as “Operation Cross Country IX.” The sting was intended to stop the progression of trafficking and the prevalence of commercial sex. Among the organizations involved were the Brown Deer Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As a result of the operation, 82 individuals in Wisconsin alone were arrested and the state tied for third place in the number of juvenile victims rescued. Over the course of the annual campaign, the program was able to rescue a total of 149 victims and arrested 153 pimps. According to reports, this was the largest task force in the history of “Operation Cross Country”, with over 500 law enforcement officials taking part. As a part of the sting, many prevalent locations for solicitation were visited and a variety of techniques were used to locate victims and perpetrators.

In January 2018, another web-based reverse sting operation was conducted, this time by the Brown Deer Police Department and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation. The plan, known as “Demand Suppression Operation”, was designed to specifically target the buyers of commercial sex and resulted in the arrests of seven individuals. According to reports, arrangements were made with the “johns” to meet in Brown Deer and upon their arrival, the individuals were promptly arrested.

Some local arrests of sex buyers are the result of allegations of crimes against real victims, rather than the product of reverse stings using undercover police decoys.  For example, in 2011, a 29-year-old man was arrested for prostituting three minors over a three-year period beginning in 2006. The youngest was 16 when she began working for the man. The girl admitted to having been abused in commercial sex over 80 times. She also reported that the man took all of the money from those encounters. The other two minors were 17 years old when they began being exploited by him. The man reportedly used Craiglist, strip clubs, and private parties to get the girls “jobs”. He was charged with three cases of “sex trafficking a child.”

Breaking from the prior tradition of namelessness is a more recent case in which a potential buyer was found dead. In June 2020, a sex buyer was found dead in his Brown Deer home after being killed by a pimp and the woman he had solicited for sex. According to reports, police found the victim dead in his home and subsequently traced down the individuals he was supposed to be meeting earlier that evening. It is unclear, however, whether the names were released in this case as an identity disclosure tactic, or due to the fact that the event ended in homicide.

Key Partners

  • Brown Deer Police Department
  • Cook County Sheriff’s Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Milwaukee Police Department
  • Sheboygan Sheriff’s Office
  • Racine Sheriff’s Office
  • Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office
  • Glendale Police Department
  • West Allis Police Department
  • Wisconsin State Patrol
State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 11839
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