Manteno, 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

Manteno is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, with a population of approximately 9,200. It is part of the Kankakee–Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area, located about 50 miles south of Chicago in Northeastern Illinois. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in other areas of Kankakee County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. For example, in 2014, one prostituted woman pled a Kankakee County judge for help after being arrested, revealing that her pimp had beaten her into submission repeatedly and she feared disobeying him. The case was one of the first the Kankakee-Iroquois Human Trafficking Task Force got involved in since being formed in late 2012. Prostitution-related homicide has also occurred in the area. For example, in 1983 officials in Kankakee County were investigating the case of a man, who’d been arrested for male prostitution, and was found stabbed to death.

Demand reduction tactics have been implemented in the city of Manteno, but present a complicated example. In 2006, nearly one hundred men were arrested in a series of five reverse stings. A woman was hired to pose as a prostituted person to lure individuals to be apprehended by the Manteno and Grant Park police departments for solicitation of prostitution. When individuals responded to the ad and arrived as arranged at a Manteno motel to complete the transaction, the woman instructed them to take a shower. When they did, they were arrested, their vehicle was seized, and they were transported to the Grant Park police department. Individuals were generally required to post a $100 cash bond to be released, as well as a $500 cash bond for the release of their vehicle.

While those elements of the reverse sting are typical and legitimate, the Grant Park chief of police, who orchestrated the operations, fraudulently imposed additional sanctions for his personal benefit. When the men were arrested, police seized the cash the individuals had with them to pay the prostitution decoy, typically $300, as well as any other cash in their possession. Those arrested were informed that they had been arrested for solicitation of prostitution and could be prosecuted. Further, their name and address might be placed in the newspaper, on the Internet, or on a police department website. Many were falsely informed that the sting operation was a joint federal, state, and local investigation and that the woman was an undercover federal agent. The Chief admitted that as part of the fraud, he offered individuals what he termed a “plea agreement” if they paid a fine, typically $3,500, and waived any right to the money seized from them. In exchange, their case would be dismissed, no prosecution would occur, and their names would not be disclosed to the media or posted on a website. As a result of the scheme, the man admitted he diverted approximately $224,760 in payments from those arrested for his own use. In 2010 he was ordered to serve 63 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud, making false statements to federal investigators, income-tax evasion, and illegal structuring of financial transactions.

Key Partners

  • Grant Park Police Department
  • Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (KMEG)

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Vehicle Seizure:

Background on Local Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, Related Violence:

Prostitution-Related Ordinances:

State Illinois
Type City
Population 9210
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