Johnson County law enforcement bust prostitution ring - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Johnson County law enforcement arrest 17 people in Coralville prostitution ring

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A month-long investigation of human trafficking and prostitution in the Johnson County area resulted in the arrest of 17 people over two days.

"We have sent a message.  We've had an impact locally on prostitution," said Lt. Shane Kron with the Coralville Police Department

The arrests include people from all walks of life, college students, an anesthesiologist, and a dentist among others.

"When you look at the names and the ages and the professions, that is the face of prostitution," Kron said.

Undercover cops set up shop in a remote part of a Coralville hotel, infiltrating online networks and setting up meetings at the hotel with johns, pimps, and prostitutes.

The goal of the mission was to be led to those involved in the trafficking of minors.

"We know that there are juveniles that are being trafficked from state to state for the purposes of prostitution."

Their efforts paid off.  Melody McCullom, 21 of Waterloo, faces charges of pandering involving a minor, pimping, prostitution, human trafficking and obstruction.  Police say McCollum used her underage sister for help in running her online prostitution business.

The hotel general manager that gave police space to run their sting says he wanted to be able help this continuing problem.

"We just wanted to do the little part that we could and all we did was give them a little space and try to keep it confidential amongst our staff so that the police could do their job," said Dave Davis, general manager of the hotel police used in Coralville. 

Also facing prostitution charges are 28-year-old Nicole Chapek of Altoona, Wis., and 27-year-old Laura Robertson of Eau Claire, Wis.  Police say the pair agreed to perform sex acts on each other in front of an undercover officer.  Police say they took money from the undercover officer in exchange.

Shanquetta Nix, 22 of Cedar Falls, also faces a prostitution charge after police say she offered to perform sex acts on an undercover officer in exchange for money.

Mercedes Love-Anderson, 22, of Milwaukee, Wis., is charged with prostitution after police say she posted an ad for an escort service and then met with an undercover officer in a hotel room.  Police say she offered to perform sex acts for $200 an hour.

Twenty-year-old Bre Ann Levi of North Liberty is charged with prostitution and child endangerment after and agreed to perform sex acts in exchange for $350.  Officers say she showed her breasts to officers.  They also say Levi brought her three-month old child with her and left the child in the car.

The following men face prostitution charges after police say they agreed to pay women for sex.

  • Changya Chen, 21, of Coralville
  • Scott Clemmons, 44, of Coralville
  • Randy Cooper, 45, of Cedar Rapids
  • Lance Forbes, 42, of Iowa City
  • Moises Garay, 25, of Cedar Rapids
  • William Heitz, 51, of Walford
  • James Jackson, 58, of Oxford
  • Jacob Kolar, 21, of Iowa City
  • Timothy Maves, 51, of Iowa City
  • Randall Wieland, 55, of Riverside

28-year-old Dwan Moore of Cedar Rapids faces a charge for probation violation.

Coralville Police said the investigation remains open so there could be more arrests.

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