Human trafficking is a big problem in Hawkeye State. With two interstates that intersect right in the middle of the state of Iowa, it makes it much easier for the traffickers to do their business and move right along.

On the sharedhope.org report, Iowa scored 44.5 out of 100 for it's efforts at combating the problem. The average score nationally was 84.7.

The issue isn't just on Iowa's major interstates, though. That's why officers in Dubuque organized a two-day prostitution sting operation in an effort to help their fight against the crime.

During the operation, according to KCRG, officials arrested 11 men, including the Dubuque County Treasurer, Randy Wedewer. Dubuque Police, Dubuque County Sheriff, and Iowa State Patrol all contributed to the joint operation in which the 60-year-old was arrested.

According to Iowa News Now, the following list includes the men who were arrested, along with their charges:

  • Jordan Watkins, 38, of Bellevue, IA- Prostitution
  • Timothy Griffin, 32, of Dickeyville, WI- Prostitution, Possession of a Controlled Substance (two counts), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and served a Probation Violation arrest warrant
  • Craig Mason, 57, Stoughton, WI- Prostitution
  • Vincent Hanson, 59, of Dubuque, IA- Prostitution
  • Timothy McAndrews, 57, of Dubuque, IA- Prostitution
  • Joshua Vondran, 40, of Epworth, IA- Prostitution
  • Charges filed on February 9, 2022
  • Kevin Bockenstedt, 41, Sherril, IA- Prostitution
  • Ryan Besler, 21, Farley, IA- Prostitution and Interference with Official Acts
  • Timothy Murphy, 55, Peosta, IA- Prostitution
  • Kevin Stanton, 63, Cuba City, WI- Prostitution
  • Randy Wedewer, 60, Epworth, IA-Prostitution

The article adds this in regards to how the operation was conducted: "Wednesday, investigators released a list of those who responded to the ads and arranged a meeting to purchase sex acts in exchange for money, but were instead met with the undercover officer(s) at Mainstay Suites 1275 Associates Dr. ... Investigators thanked Mainstay Suites for partnering with them in a continued effort to curb human trafficking."

The investigation remains ongoing and additional charges are a possibility.

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