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Cook County Leads 8-State Prostitution Sting, Nets 565 Arrests

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(CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Police in eight states participated in prostitution stings over the past 10 days, coordinated by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, there were 565 arrests – including 314 men allegedly soliciting sex.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

A total of 227 people were arrested on prostitution charges and other misdemeanor counts, and two more were arrested on human trafficking charges.

The roundup was all part of what Dart calls the “National Day of Johns Arrests.” Twenty law enforcement agencies in eight states ran sting operations in hotels and brothels, on the streets and on the Internet over a 10-day period that concluded Monday night, Dart’s office said.

If the johns are all convicted, fines will be in the neighborhood of nearly $475,000.

While prostitution is often characterized as a victimless crime, the sheriff’s office says that is not true. Dart’s office says customers of prostitutes “perpetuate a violent, exploitative industry,” and if there were no johns, there would be no abusive pimps and traffickers either.

“Large sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, bring out competitiveness in all of us, including, unfortunately, pimps and sex traffickers,” Dart said in a news release. “In the days leading up to and including Super Bowl Sunday, my office coordinated with 19 other law enforcement agencies from around the country to send a strong message that our communities refuse to tolerate the sale of human beings for sex.”

The Cook County Sheriff’s office ran the sting along with the Orland Park FBI office, the Kane County sheriff’s office, police in Aurora and Elgin, and police in Indianapolis; Boston; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Newport News, Va.; Cincinnati; and Dayton, Ohio.

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