Door County, WI

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

In 2008, the fire chief of a Door County community was jailed after being caught in an underage-sex-sting operation, and was charged with attempted child enticement and attempted solicitation of a child for prostitution. His cash bond was set at $20,000. The criminal complaint alleged the man had expected to rendezvous with a 16-year-old prostitute when arrested Thursday night outside a Kaukauna hotel. A state agent had posed as the girl in text-message exchanges setting up the meeting. Agents used a cell phone obtained when a teen who was being sex trafficked  was arrested, and found the suspect’s number on the phone. Bley remained jailed last night and had no lawyer listed for him as yet.

In 2013 a reverse sting operation that targeted Internet child sex predators led to the arrests of 16  men in six Wisconsin counties: Eight were arrested in Brown County, four in Marathon County, and an undisclosed number of others in Winnebago, Shawano, Outagamie and Door counties. Police had between 1,200 and 1,500 chats with possible suspects during the investigation that ran four days. Officials targeted online ad services as well as social media and other Internet outlets. The arrested men had faced charges including use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime to child enticement, prostitution, and possession of a controlled substance.

In August 2017 a reverse sting operation was coordinated with the National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI), which started in Cook County Illinois in 2011. The 2017 NJSI operation occurred between June 28 and July 31, and involved 37 law enforcement agencies across 17 states. The goal was to cut consumer-level demand and therefore lower the number of young women solicited for sex, targeting sex buyers and directing victims to support resources in the community. One month after the Brown County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 35 men for sex trafficking, officials announced another 25 arrests for the same thing.

In September 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Justice conducted  a summer operation in northern and eastern regions of the state that led to 25 arrests.  The Attorney General announced that the stings targeted people who solicited sex from either children or prostitutes, including eight in Door County. The identies of the arrested men were publicly released. To continue efforts to combat the problem, the AG’s office created a Human Trafficking Bureau in 2017, which coordinates statewide operations intended to identify and prosecute these offenses.




Key Partners

  • Cottage Grove Police Department
  • Dane County Sheriff’s Office
  • Door County District Attorney
  • Door County Sheriff’s Office
  • Eagle River Police Department
  • Juneau County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kohler Police Department
  • Madison Police Department
  • Marshfield Police Department
  • McFarland Police Department
  • Monona Police Department
  • Rock County District Attorney
  • Sheboygan County District Attorney
  • Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sheboygan Police Department
  • Sheboygan Falls Police Department
  • Sturgeon Bay Police Department
  • U.S. Marshals
  • Vilas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Wisconsin State Patrol
State Wisconsin
Type County
Population 27554
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