Marinette County, 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

Marinette County is located in Northeastern Wisconsin and has a population of approximately 42,000. Its county seat is the city of Marinette. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include reverse stings and the public disclosure of sex buyer identities. For example, in December 2016, state investigators conducted an operation to combat human trafficking and child sex crimes in the Marinette-Menominee area, which included apprehending those seeking to abuse sex-trafficked minors. The Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) conducted a sting, with four DCI agents posting and responding to ads on social media apps and websites like Craigslist and Backpage. Agents exchanged messages with more than 150 potential sex buyers over 12 hours. After agreeing to meet, the sex buyers were arrested. The operation led to the arrest of two people, who were subsequently charged with felonies. The felony charges included using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement-sexual contact, and “soliciting a child for prostitution.” The operation was a collaboration of the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office, Marinette City Police Department,  Menominee Police Department, DCI, and the FBI.

Key Partners

State Wisconsin
Type County
Population 41872
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