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Muscatine is a city of less that 25,000 residents near Davenport, in Eastern Iowa. Prostitution and sex trafficking investigations have occurred in the city, dating back to the 1800s. A news article from 1873 described a local case of a man beating and sexually assaulting a young woman, insisting she engage in prostitution. During an undercover vice operation on October 24 and 25, 2012, the Muscatine Police Department and the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the FBI, the Iowa Law Enforcement Intelligence Network, and 14 other local law enforcement agencies, arrested 27 people for prostitution and other charges. Among those arrested were 21 sex buyers responding to police decoys; the names and ages of those arrested were released to the media. The operation was the result of a multi-agency investigation occurring over several months. Two area hotels collaborated on the “take-down” of the prostitution ring investigated. Twenty of the men were charged with Prostitution, an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year or an indeterminate prison sentence of two years plus a fine of $625 to $6,250. Two were charged with Prostitution and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, a class “D” felony punishable by imprisonment for an indeterminate five year sentence and a fine of $750 to $7,500. One of the arrested men was charged with Human Trafficking, a class “D” felony:
- Muscatine Police Department
- Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office
- Iowa Department of Public Safety
- Sheriff’s offices in Linn, Johnson, Louisa, Cedar counties
- Police departments from Marion, Tipton, Anamosa, Columbus Junction
- U.S. Marshal Service
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “27 Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Muscatine Journal, October 26 2012.
- “Prostitution Bust: 27 Arrests Made in Muscatine,” NBC/WHO-TV 13, October 26 2012.
- “27 People Arrested in Muscatine Prostitution Sting; Multi-Agency Effort over Several Months Conducted at Two Muscatine Hotels,” Burlington Hawk Eye, October 28 2012.
- http://muscatinecountyattorney.blogspot.com/muscatine-county-attorney-announces.html (2012)
- “Iowa/Illinois Briefs; Iowa Police Arrest 27 in Prostitution Sting,” Dubuque Telegraph Herald, October 28 2012.
- https://www.shawlocal.com/optometrist-hit-in-prostitution-sting/ (2012)
- https://muscatinejournal.com/news/local/arrested-in-prostitution-sting/article (2012)
- “Optometrist Hit in Prostitution Sting,” Sauk Valley Media, October 30 2012.
Background on local Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, Related Violence:
- https://www.newspapers.com/drury-muscatine-prostitution/ (1873)
- https://www.kcci.com/article/53-charged-in-drug-prostitution-sting (2012)
- “Woman Arrested in Prostitution Sting Now Faces Other Charges,” Muscatine Journal, October 29 2012.
- “Q.C. Man Guilty of Pimping in Muscatine,” Muscatine Journal, October 31 2013.
- https://discovermuscatine.com/maggie-tinsman-speaks-to-rotary-club-about-human-trafficking/ (2022)
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