Lyons, 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

Lyons is a village of about 10,000 residents in Lyons Township. Located in Cook County, it is a suburb of Chicago. The village has a long history of prostitution and corruption, including cases of bribery. In 1984, more than 250 agents participated in one of the largest federal investigations in the area since Prohibition that looked into a prostitution operation that yielded more than $50 million per yer. By 1989, more than 75 people had been indicted for prostitution and tax fraud and 57 had been convicted. One woman campaigned against the strip clubs and eventually became mayor, replacing the previous mayor who had also sold insurance to the club owners and ordered police to leave the clubs alone. The new mayor dismissed the chief of police, village attorney, village administrator, village code insepctor, and revoked 370 “special police” badges the former mayor had given his friends.

Opportunistic sex buyer arrests have occurred locally on at least one occasion. In September 1989, two Lyons police officers were arrested as part of a federal investigation into prostitution and tax fraud at local strip clubs, which resulted in the closure of four of the clubs and the voluntary closure of a fifth one after a village trustee led a campaign aimed at embarrassing the owners. The two men pleaded guilty in 1990 to having sex with prostituted women in return for overlooking crimes at the strip clubs. Their names were released to the press.

Key Partners

  • FBI
  • Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
State Illinois
Type City
Population 10338
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