Green Bay, 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

Green Bay is a city in Brown County, Wisconsin. It is located at the southern end of Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan, and its population is approximately 107,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city and surrounding areas. For example, in December, 2022, a Green Bay man was arrested on 11 charges, including several related to human trafficking.  He was charged with Mistreatment of Animals Causing Death, 2nd Degree Sexual Assault as Party to the Crime, Substantial Battery, Keeping a place of Prostitution, three counts of Human Trafficking, and four counts of Felony Bail Jumping. He was allegedly responsible for severing a victim’s ear, running over a woman’s dog after she failed to get paid for her prostitution, along with other disturbing and graphic acts. Several human trafficking victims were identified in the report, including the man’s ex-wife.

Among the tactics used to address these problems are those that focus on consumer-level demand for commercial sex. For example, reverse stings have been conducted since at least 2013.  In the summer of 2018, the Green Bay Police Department and Brown County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with other agencies in the area and conducted web-based reverse stings as part of the National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI).  Those agencies, along with the police departments of De Pere, and Ashwaubenon, were able to make 19 arrests in July and August of 2018. All 19 suspects were charged with trying to buy sex, in addition to other charges. One man was arrested for “receiving compensation for human trafficking”, after offering the services of a teenager for sex in Green Bay and using a computer to solicit child sex and intimate photos. Two of the men were arrested for attempting to meet a 15-year-old girl for sexual abuse, and another man for trying to buy sex with a juvenile male, both were charged with “child sex crime” charges.

A variation of the “Dear John” letter tactic was used during the 2018 reverse stings coordinated with the NJSI. Computer IDs, phone numbers, and other information were used to identify those who responded to the online ads placed by investigators. Police made contact with 409 individuals online, but they did not incriminate themselves enough to warrant charges. Those individuals were been sent written warnings by police. Those who responded and proceeded to set up a meeting with the decoy prostitutes and trafficking victims were arrested.

Key Partners

  • Green Bay Police Department
  • Brown County Sheriff’s Office
  • Brown County Drug Task Force
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

“Dear John” Messages:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 107015
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