Arlington Heights, Cook County Sheriff's and Lake County Sheriff's police made nearly 70 arrests of accused sex buyers in recent weeks as part of a massive sting operation involving more than 30 law enforcement agencies in 16 states.
The 15th National Johns Suppression Initiative, which took place from Jan. 7 to Feb. 4, led to almost 650 arrests across the country, including 18 on sex trafficking-related charges, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced Tuesday.
Dart's office made 57 of those arrests, some of which came through joint operations with municipal police departments. Arlington Heights police made five arrests and the Lake County Gang Task Force made seven.
All the Lake County arrests occurred in the 4100 block of Fountain Square Place in Waukegan, according to the sheriff's office. Arrested on charges of solicitation of a sex act were Evelio Marquez, 55, of the 1000 block of 67th Street, Kenosha; Jeremy P. Hoen, 29, of the 2900 block of Dominion Lane, Lakemoor; Luis Lopez-Arellano, 32, of the 42300 block of Delany Road, Zion; Raymond Berger, 33, of the 21500 block of West Nielson Drive, Lake Villa; Luis E. Cardenas, 48, of the 2600 block of Peppertree Lane, Waukegan; Dionicio S. Pott, 37, of the 400 block of Hull Court, Waukegan; and Elmer E. Rosales, 54, of the 700 block of Center Street, Waukegan.
They are all due in court on March 12, sheriff's police said.
"Investigating human trafficking is one of the top priorities of the Lake County Sheriff's Gang Task Force," Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said in an announcement of the arrests. "Prostitution often involves human trafficking and juvenile sex trafficking, which is exactly why we conduct these investigations."
Arlington Heights Police conducted a sting at a motel in the area of Arlington Heights Road and Algonquin Road on January 25. They arrested five men on charges of solicitation of a sex act, Joshua Brodsky, 39, of the 400 block of W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights; Randolph Zarecky, 60, of Long Grove; Kevin Willing, 48, of the 200 block of Mayfair Lane, South Elgin; Stephen Palanca, 30, of the 400 block of Glen Garry Road, Cary; Kevin Ganac, 25, of the 1100 block of S. Chestnut, Arlington Heights.
Nationally, the sting operation led to 638 sex solicitation arrests, 18 trafficking arrests, $755,490 in minimum possible fines, 12 adult trafficking victims recovered and three juvenile victims recovered, according to Dart.