by Marianne Gasaway
That’s the message Clear Lake Police Department Captain Mike Colby said local law enforcement wanted to deliver through a sting operation focusing on human trafficking and prostitution.
Local law enforcement made a statement with the arrest of seven males and two females on Wednesday, May 29, on charges related to solicitation of prostitution.
“The goal of this operation was to identify people who are involved in this type of criminal conduct,” said Clear Lake Police Captain Mike Colby. “We wanted to take a stance against human trafficking and to show that we have zero tolerance for such activities in our area.”
Clear Lake officers worked closely with other investigators from surrounding law enforcement agencies in order to successfully plan and safely execute this “sting” operation. All nine arrested individuals were transported to the Cerro Gordo County Jail.
The site of the arrests was not made public, however, Captain Colby said the property owner fully cooperated with the undercover operation.
Those arrested were:
•Scott Biernbaum, 48, Lincoln, Neb. and Clear Lake, solicit prostitution
•Phillip Bishop, 65, Mason City, solicit prostitution
•Brian Bruton, 48, Charles City, solicit prostitution
•Brian Cole, 55, Nashua, Iowa, solicit prostitution
•Jeramie Hagen, 42, Crystal Lake, Iowa solicit prostitution and delivery of a controlled substance
•Ashley Kelly, 22, Midland, Ala., prostitution
•Steven Menke, 61, of Bancroft, Iowa, solicit prostitution
•Chad Sovanski, 47, Milan, Ill., solicit prostitution
•Mallory Wiese, 26, Mason City, prostitution
The Clear Lake Police Department was assisted by the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office, the division of Criminal Investigation, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Mason City Police Department and North Iowa Drug Task Force.