Three local law enforcement agencies participated in a national effort to combat demand for prostitutes over the Columbus Day weekend that resulted in 216 people charged with solicitation of a sexual act.
Called the National Day of Johns Arrests, the sweep was the first national effort of its kind, according to a news release from the Cook County sheriff's police department.
In addition to the Cook County sheriff, police departments from Aurora and Elgin, as well as in Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Newport News, Va., all took part.
The Elgin sweep was cut short after department personnel were reassigned to assist in the investigation into the murder of 5-year-old Eric Galazara Jr., but six arrests were made.
Most offenders were arrested on the street and in hotels, but officers also conducted stings in brothels and via the Internet.
In Aurora, police arrested eight men on Oct. 9 at street-level locations where there have been complaints about prostitution, including:
• Santiago Calderon, 30, of the 700 block of Ashland Avenue, Aurora
• Constantino Cruz, 49, of the 100 block of N. Fourth Street, Aurora
• Columbus L. McGrew, 56, of the 500 block of Ryegrass Trail, Aurora
• Steven Musembi, 38, of the 2800 block of Yosemite Drive, Aurora
• Alex Daniel Skowronski, 63, of the 20100 block of Farmington Lakes, Oswego
• Gabriel Vazquez Jr., 23, of the 900 block of Chateau Avenue, Aurora
• Santos Amador Vera, 36, of the 1000 block of Claim Street, Aurora
• Ambrocio Zacal, 20, of the 500 block of Fifth Avenue, Aurora
In Elgin, police arrested six men, including
• Deangelo L. Brown, 24, of the 500 block of Douglas Avenue, Elgin
• Adam M. Ephrain, 23, of the 100 block of Third Street, Watertown, Wis.
• Javier Guerrero, age and address not provided
• Anthony Payton, age and address not provided
• Antonio Rodriguez, 41, of the 200 block of Harvey Street, Elgin
• Antonio Valencia-Castillo, 38, of the 500 block of Grace Street, Elgin
The operation was conducted with the Demand Abolition Campaign, a group affiliated with the Massachusetts-based Hunt Alternatives Fund that works to end modern slavery by combating the demand for prostitution.
Nationally, there were a total of 216 arrests for seeking prostitutes, 71 vehicles towed and $238,490 in fines issued.
The success of this first cooperative effort is expected to lead to future collaborations targeting people who seek prostitutes, according the Cook County sheriff's release.