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Waukegan is a city of approximately 89,000 residents, located in the northern suburbs of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois. Law enforcement and city residents report that prostitution has been a persistent problem in the area for decades. 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. The Waukegan Police Department has adopted an aggressive approach to curtailing local demand for commercial sex. Officers have at times routinely conducted street-level reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. For example, in February 2014 police conducted a reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of 11 sex buyers. Once arrested, sex buyers frequently have their names and other identifying information disclosed to local media outlets. A web-based reverse sting in February 2019 resulted in the arrest of 14 sex buyers at a Waukegan hotel. Waukegan Police may seize and impound vehicles used for solicitation, pursuant to a city ordinance adopted in 1994.
- Waukegan Police Department
- Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure, Vehicle Seizure:
- “4 Men Charged as Waukegan Targets Prostitutes’ Customers”, Chicago Tribune, April 29 1994.
- “Two Men Were Free on $100 Bonds After Police Said They…”, Chicago Tribune, August 11 1994.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 13 Suspects”, Chicago Tribune, August 23 1994.
- “Cop Posing as Prostitute Corrals 7 Men in Sting”, Chicago Tribune, September 15 1994.
- “81 Arrested in Waukegan in Police Prostitution Sting”, Chicago Tribune, September 8 1999.
- “Prostitution Crackdown Nets 82”, Chicago Tribune, October 2 2002.
- “Routine Bust Uncovers Alleged Prostitution Ring”, Chicago Tribune, June 5 2003.
- “Johnsburg Man Among 11 Arrested During Sex Trafficking Operation”, Crystal Lake Northwest Herald, February 11 2014.
- “11 Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Arlington Heights Daily Herald, February 11 2014.
- https://patch.com/18-arrested-undercover-prostitution-sting (2017)
Web-Based Reverse Sting:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Suburbs Aren’t Immune from Human Trafficking, Experts Say”, Arlington Heights Daily Herald, May 11 2013.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
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