Police arrest 18 alleged ‘Johns’ in Lake County during anti-prostitution operation

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WAUKEGAN and GURNEE, Ill. — Police arrested 18 alleged “Johns” in undercover operations in Lake County throughout July as part of a national operation to combat prostitution, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday.

Police used a “classified advertising website” and then arrested the suspects after they offered undercover detectives money in return for sexual acts, according to the statement. A total of 18 men were arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Sexual Act, a misdemeanor, throughout July. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said its Gang Task Force and local police departments in Gurnee and Waukegan were involved in the operation.

“I’ve said it before, prostitution is not a victimless crime. Prostitution often involves human trafficking and juvenile sex trafficking,” Sheriff Mark Curran said in the statement.

The “National Johns Suppression” operation has led to arrests of over 6,000 “Johns” and “sex traffickers” across the country over the last five years, according to police.