Shawano 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

Shawano County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2020 census, the population was just over 40,000. Its county seat is Shawano.  Shawano County is included in the Green Bay-Shawano, WI Combined Statistical Area. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results 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.

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. For example, in June 2013, six suspects accused of prostitution and other crimes were arrested during a Shawano online police sting intended to catch possible perpetrators of human trafficking. Five municipal citations were issued for prostitution. The operation was patterned after similar International Crimes Against Children Task Force efforts that involve officers working undercover on social media, either posting or responding to online ads. After contact was made, arrangements were made for a sexual rendezvous in the city.  The location in this case was in the vicinity of the Shawano County Highway Department on Richmond Street.

In 2013, internet crimes against children stings were conducted in Wisconsin, and included the participation of the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office.  “Operation Black Veil II” in the Green Bay area targeted predators who solicit children online for piad sexual abuse. The operation was conducted in northeast Wisconsin and north central Wisconsin from September 18 through September 21.

In December 2015, Deputies in Shawano County arrested five men who allegedly sought sexual contact with children. With the help of the Shawano Police Department, deputies conducted a series of undercover operations focused on individuals who both advertise and respond to ads online to connect with young teens and arrange sexual meetings. The identities of the arrested men were included in news releases.

In 2017 a reverse sting operation that targeted Internet child sex predators led to the arrests of 16 men in six Wisconsin counties: Eight were arrested in Brown County, four in Marathon County, and an undisclosed number of others in Winnebago, Shawano, Outagamie and Door counties. Police had between 1,200 and 1,500 chats with possible suspects during the investigation that ran four days. Officials targeted online ad services as well as social media and other Internet outlets. The arrested men had faced charges including use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime to child enticement, prostitution, and possession of a controlled substance.

Key Partners

  • Shawano County Sheriff’s Office
  • Shawano Police Department
  • U.S. Marshals
  • Wisconsin State Patrol


State Wisconsin
Type County
Population 40880
Comments are closed.