17 Arrested in Online Sex Sting
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
Wisconsin investigators bust 17 men accused of trying to meet a child for sex online.
Eight of the 17 are from Northeast Wisconsin. Investigators say the 3-day long sting was one of the largest in the state.
Investigators are calling it Operation Black Veil. That's because they say internet predators are in every community, but no one knows what they're really doing behind their computer.
Laura Josephs' stomach drops while looking at the house just feet from her loved ones in Green Bay.
"It's sickening that these people are allowed to be out and amongst us. It's just very upsetting," Josephs said.
Her family's neighbor, a 26-year-old Green Bay man, was one of 17 arrested accused of trying to lure children for sex online.
"It could be your neighbor. It could be your doctor. It could be your attorney. It could be anybody. A close friend or family member. You just don't know what's lurking behind a computer," Investigator James Valley, with Door County Sheriff's Office said.
More than 100 officers around the state targeted the predators online by posing as children or taking out fake personal ads as adults, looking to sell children for sex.
"We want to make sure the public is made aware of what's going on in their community. This will not be tolerated in the state of Wisconsin," Brown County Sheriff John Gossage said.
The operation gives Josephs some relief.
"I think it's great they can clamp down on them and get them taken care of, get them out of society," Josephs said.
Law enforcement agencies tell us they plan on doing another operation like this soon. Even so, officers suggest parents monitor what their children do online.