Authorities have arrested 11 men as part of a two-day prostitution sting, one of whom turned out to be the county treasurer.
As part of a two-day sting “targeting human trafficking through prostitution,” authorities have reportedly arrested 11 men in Dubuque, Iowa, including the Dubuque County Treasurer, Randy Wedewer.
The joint operation was conducted by the Dubuque Police Department, Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department, and Iowa State Patrol.
Along with Wedewer, 60, the prostitution sting also caught Vincent J. Hanson Jr., 59, of rural Dubuque; Timothy J. McAndrews, 57, of rural Dubuque; Kevin M. Bockenstedt, 41, of Sherrill, Iowa; Joshua J. Vondran, 40, of Epworth, Iowa; Ryan P. Besler, 31, of Farley, Iowa; Timothy Murphy, 55, of Peosta, Iowa; Jordan H. Watkins, 38, of Bellevue, Iowa; Timothy A. Griffin, 32, of Dickeyville, Wis.; Kevin Stanton, 63, of Cuba City, Wis.; and Craig A. Mason, 57, of Stoughton, Wis.
According to court documents filed in several of the cases, “The operation consisted of undercover agents posting an ad on social media sites offering sexual services (including any and all sex acts) for money and provided a location to those individuals that answered the ad wanting to purchase sexual services.”
The investigators focused on websites that were often used for prostitution.
The individuals who responded to the ad, arranged a meeting with the undercover officers at the planned location at Mainstay Suites in Dubuque, and offered money for sexual acts were arrested. Court documents obtained for eight of the men show that the amounts offered for sexual acts ranged from $80 to $250.
Prostitution is an aggravated misdemeanor which is punishable by up to two years in prison. Police have stated that the investigation is still ongoing, and additional charges for the criminals may still be possible.
Law enforcement also credited the hotel used in the sting as a partner “in our continued effort to curb human trafficking.”