ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) - It's a constant problem in northeast Wisconsin. Area police agencies are continuing their crackdown on prostitution.
Nevelo C. Smith of Milwaukee was recently arrested by Ashwaubenon police on a charge of pandering/pimping. It's the third prostitution-related arrest in the village so far this year.
Lt. Jody Crocker said it's a problem plaguing much of the area.
"In the most part, it's for sex," Lt. Crocker said. "and when that happens, we have to curb it somehow so we do stings here just as other communities do."
The stings resulted in more than 30 arrests last year, most of them at local motels.
"Being a prostitute is a misdemeanor," explained Lt. Crocker. "Supplying or trying to get one is a felony."
Lt. Crocker said officers patrol certain websites, looking for illegal activity. They set up meetings, then make the arrests.
"Usually our stings will net between three and 10 arrests in a night," he added.
The penalties vary depending on the charges. Misdemeanor prostitution can land someone in jail for up to nine months. A charge of escorting carries a $2,800 fine.
"I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon," added Lt. Crocker. "People try to make money the easiest way possible and that's why you have drugs and that's why you have prostitution and other things that people don't really need to work that hard to do."
Local 5 also spoke with Green Bay police. Officials said prostitution is an issue in the city as well, but didn't have any exact numbers on recent arrests.