Human trafficking operation yields 19 arrests and 409 warnings in Brown County
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Brown County authorities say they added another deterrence to those attempting to purchase sex from victims of human trafficking.
In conjunction with the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago, Brown County Sheriff's Office, De Pere Police Department, Green Bay Police Department and Ashwaubenon Public Safety participated in the 16th National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI) from July 25 to Aug. 26.
The operation resulted in 19 arrests in the county, as well as Brown County Sheriff's Office making additional arrests on its own.
Sgt. Matt Wilson, the human trafficking investigator for the Brown County Sheriff's Office said some of the suspects arrested were people they're familiar with, while others are not from Brown County.
"This year was anywhere from 20-years-old, one guy was over 60, actually I believe tho over 60. Some were married, had children, and worked in the community," said Wilson.
One of those include the arrest of a Michigan man and the rescue of a human trafficking victim from Michigan.
Brown County chief deputy, Todd Delain, said investigators also sent 409 warnings to those they were unable to arrest.
During the operation, undercover officers posted online ads. When investigators could not arrange a meeting with the suspects, a deterrence message was sent to them via text or email.
The message made it clear to the offender that offering to pay someone for sexual contact is a crime and can also have negative, long-term effects on the victims of human trafficking.
Delain says he hopes the messages will make potential buyers think twice before soliciting victims of human trafficking, "If you are a sex buyer, buyer beware because you may be talking to a law enforcement officer who wants to put you in jail."
Here's the list of people arrested:
- David Dow-Wook Kim9/10/1963
- Robert Allen Kakuk9/8/1962
- Thomas R. Goetz2/16/1950
- Todd A. Breest4/13/1981
- Mohamud Mohamed Abdikadir4/25/1998
- Jory Alynn Poquette4/1/1989
- Kenneth C. Hamilton (Repeat Offender)3/18/1961
- Javier NMI Lopez9/15/1997
- Ryan C. Miller2/6/1986
- Xavier Semaj Simmons6/9/1996
- David Allen Grotback (Repeater)6/29/1966
- Stephen Arthur Schwartzenberger11/13/1991
- Todd Allen Scheffen 7/16/1966
- Thomas John Kieley2/19/1967
- Scott Joseph Feucht 8/22/1970
- Keith W. Rahm11/19/1967
- Michael M. Piarulli11/18/1988
- Michael S. Ourada8/18/1971