Gurnee, IL

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

Gurnee is a village of about 31,000 residents in northeastern Illinois, located just west of Waukegan in Lake County.

In July 2017, eighteen Lake County men were arrested during an undercover investigation conducted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force, Gurnee Police Department, and Waukegan Police Department after allegedly offering money for sex acts. The operation was a local part of the “National Johns Suppression Initiative,” a nationwide coalition of federal and local law enforcement agencies specifically targeting demand for commercial sex. All of the men were arrested for solicitation of a sexual act, a class A misdemeanor, and transported to the Lake County Jail. Local police used an online classified service to post ads and then arranged to meet sex buyers at a location in Gurnee. The sex buyers’ names, ages, addresses, and the area in which they were arrested were all published in news releases.

In February 2020, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported they had participated in another nationwide human trafficking suppression operation that resulted in the arrest of 14 men who offered money for sex at a Gurnee hotel. The office’s Special Investigations Group conducted the operation over multiple days using classified advertising websites that are regularly used for prostitution. Sex buyers were arrested when they arrived at the hotel and offered money to undercover detectives for sex acts. Each was charged with one count of solicitation of a sexual act, a class A misdemeanor. Their names, ages, hometowns, and arrest photos were released to the press. Following his arrest in the sting operation, one man was fired from his assistant coaching job in Antioch.

Key Partners

  • Lake County Sheriff’s Office
    • Gang Task Force
    • Special Investigations Group
  • Gurnee Police Department
  • Waukegan Police Department
State Illinois
Type City
Population 30519
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