25 Arrested In Human Trafficking Sting In Wisconsin

State Department Of Justice Announces New Human Trafficking Bureau

Brad Schimel
Andy Manis/AP Photo

The state Department of Justice helped coordinate the arrest of 25 suspected sex traffickers in July and August. According to the DOJ, those detained were arrested on charges of both human trafficking and soliciting sex with prostitutes, some as young as 14 years old.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the department’s new Human Trafficking Bureau, a seven-person team focused on targeting this issue in Wisconsin. The creation of this bureau doubles the amount of agents focused on human trafficking in Wisconsin, Schimel said.

The issue is one that Schimel called a “significant problem” in Wisconsin, adding that people willing to pay for sex shocks him.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“They’ve created this problem by being willing to pay for it, and we’re coming after them. And that’s, that’s many of the individuals we arrested. Some of them were traffickers, but most of them were people who were part of the demand,” he said.

According to a DOJ press release, some parts of the state already have local task forces dedicated to fighting human trafficking. The newly created bureau will work with these task forces to provide training and support victims.

During the sting, five people connected with sex trafficking were arrested in Door County in July alone, District Attorney Colleen Nordin said. She reiterated that these arrests should make people aware that this is a statewide issue, not just a problem that plagues urban centers.

“When you know (sex trafficking) is so widespread that it can target a community such as Door County, I think that highlights the need for specific resources targeted at this problem that exists amongst all demographics, amongst all types of communities,” she said.

In addition to fighting trafficking in the state, the press release states that the bureau will also work with the Legislature on policies to better coordinate law enforcement and enhance victim services ultimately helping to dismantle human trafficking operations in Wisconsin.