UPDATE: 17 Arrested for Internet Crimes Against Children; 6 Suspects Arrested in Madison

UPDATED Monday, March 18, 2013--- 6:17 p.m.

Predators on the internet were brought down after a large scale Internet Crimes Against Children sting operation.

It was a statewide effort with investigators from Brown and Door counties, the division of criminal investigation, and a dozen other law enforcement agencies coming together for one single purpose-- to get these predators off the streets

"We had multiple officers working 16 hours a day attempting to locate people who abuse children," said Investigator James Valley with the Brown County Sheriff's Office.

For three days last week, more than 100 trained officers posed as underage children on sites like Craigslist to catch predators who solicit children to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

They caught and arrested 17 predators in what Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen called the largest sting operation targeting child sex traffickers in the state.

Of the 17 arrested, six were right here in Madison. Officials say they could be anyone asking your child for sex.

Van Hollen these arrests are just the beginning.

He had a warning for predators, saying, "Don't think the sweep is over, and you're now safe. Beware because even this investigation is ongoing."

Van Hollen says $900,000 is part of the budget proposal to specifically target sex traffickers.

He said this would allow a sting operation like this every year, costing less than $30,000 dollars per child saved and offender off the streets.

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UPDATED Monday, March 18, 2013 --- 11:50 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- An online investigation by state and local authorities in northeastern Wisconsin has resulted in 17 arrests for crimes against children.

The Brown County and Door County sheriffs led the investigation with assistance from the state Division of Criminal Investigation and 12 other law enforcement agencies. Authorities say the investigation targeted online predators who solicit children for sex crimes.

The 3-day investigation was conducted last week.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, March 18, 2013 --- 10:40 a.m.

Press Release from the Department of Justice:

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, Brown County Sheriff John R. Gossage and Door County Sheriff Terry J. Vogel have announced that beginning Tuesday, March 12, 2013, through Thursday, March 14, 2013, investigators from Brown and Door counties and special agents from the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) -- in cooperation with other local law enforcement -- conducted a large-scale Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Operation. The three-day long ICAC operation, known as Operation Black Veil, was the result of a proactive, online investigation relating to the exploitation of children through the use of online personal advertisements, specifically targeting online predators who solicit children for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct. More than 15 suspects were arrested as part of Operation Black Veil, which also involved extensive assistance in the field from the Madison Police Department, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department and others.

A news conference with a number of the agencies involved is scheduled for 10:15 am TODAY at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office (in the Truttmann Room), located at 2684 Development Drive in Green Bay . Brown County Sheriff John Gossage, Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel and Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John will deliver remarks and take some questions regarding the operation.

Below is a list of arrested individuals and charges resulting from the operation:

-Charles Zimmerman (DOB 3/19/1976), Arrested 3/12/2013 in Madison, Charged with Trafficking of a Child;
-Timothy M. Marking (DOB 7/15/1963), Arrested 3/12/2013 in Madison, Charged with Trafficking of a Child and Child Enticement;
-Matthew J. Micksch (DOB 7/17/1986), Arrested 3/12/2013 in Green Bay, Charged with Child Enticement;
-Benjamin W. Lahti (DOB 5/4/1988), Arrested 3/12/2013 in Minocqua, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime, Exposing a Child to Harmful Materials and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
-Marc S. Marion (DOB 7/13/1958), Arrested 3/13/2013 in Madison, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime;
-Jeremy W. Stegall (DOB 1/14/1984), Arrested 3/13/2013 in Madison, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime;
-Douglas Crueger (DOB 6/5/1968), Arrested 3/13/2013 in Madison, Tentatively Charged with Solicitation of a Prostitute; Crueger Photo
-William C. Ward (DOB 5/28/1985), Arrested 3/13/2012 in Green Bay, Charged with Trafficking of a Child;
-Phillip Waller (DOB 8/10/1976), Arrested 3/13/2013 in Wausau, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime;
-Craig R. Nelson (DOB 10/30/1978), Arrested 3/13/2013 in Green Bay, Charged with Trafficking of a Child, Possession of THC and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
-Joshua J. Fumelle (DOB 3/21/1989), Arrested 3/13/2013 in Green Bay, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime and Child Enticement;
-Daniel W. Moctezuma (DOB 2/25/1974), Arrested 3/14/2013 in Kenosha, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime, Child Enticement and Second Degree Sexual Assault of Child;
-Mark A. Randall (DOB 11/20/1970), Arrested 3/14/2013 in Appleton, Charged with Trafficking of a Child, Child Enticement and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer;
-Timothy J. Belz (DOB 9/5/1994), Arrested 3/14/2013 in Madison, Tentatively Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime and Solicitation of a Prostitute;
-Ryan D. Gleason (DOB 10/24/1991), Arrested 3/14/2013 in Green Bay, Tentatively Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime;
-Jeffery D. Vadnais-Speck (DOB 10/16/1985), Arrested 3/14/2013 in Shawano, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime;
-Michael R. Wenzel (DOB 12/16/1947), Arrested 3/14/2013 in Green Bay, Charged with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime.

Investigation of other individuals identified as a result of the operation continues.

Policing the Internet for those who wish to exploit children presents unique challenges for law enforcement in areas of investigative resources, forensic technology and jurisdictional boundaries. This complex operation was a coordinated effort by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Door County Sheriff’s Office, the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), and local law enforcement agencies, including: Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, Oconto County Sheriff’s Department, Marinette County Sheriff’s Department, Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Attorney General Van Hollen, Brown County Sheriff John Gossage and Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel also wish to thank the following agencies that provided significant assistance: Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department, Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Minocqua Police Department, Marathon County Sheriff’s Department, Kenosha Police Department and Shawano Police Department.

Defendants enjoy the presumption of innocence. The prosecution must prove its allegations at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Posted Monday, March 18, 2013 --- 9:57 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- An online investigation by state and local authorities in northeastern Wisconsin has resulted in 15 arrests for crimes against children.

The Brown County and Door County sheriffs led the investigation with assistance from the state Division of Criminal Investigation and 12 other law enforcement agencies. Authorities say the investigation targeted online predators who solicit children for sex crimes.

The 3-day investigation was conducted last week.

Copyright 2013 : Associated Press


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