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CLEAR LAKE -- Seven men and two women, including two from Floyd County, were arrested Wednesday in Clear Lake on charges related to solicitation of prostitution.

Investigators and officers conducted a sting operation focusing on human trafficking and prostitution, leading to the arrest of:

• Steven Menke, 61, Bancroft, soliciting prostitution.

• Brian Cole, 55, Nashua, soliciting prostitution. 

• Chad Sovanski, 47, Milan, Ill., soliciting prostitution.

• Phillip Bishop, 65, Mason City, soliciting prostitution. 

• Jeramie Hagen, 42, Crystal Lake, soliciting prostitution and delivery of a controlled substance.  

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• Brian Bruton, 48, Charles City, soliciting prostitution. 

• Scott Biernbaum, 48, Clear Lake, solicitation of prostitution. 

• Mallory Wiese, 26, Mason City, prostitution. 

• Ashley Kelly, 22, Midland, Ala., prostitution. 

All of those arrested were transported to the Cerro Gordo County Jail. 

“The goal of this operation was to identify people who are involved in this type of criminal conduct,” said Clear Lake Police Capt. Mike Colby in a news release. “We wanted to take a stance against human trafficking and to show that we have zero tolerance for such activities in our area.”

The Clear Lake Police Department was assisted by the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, the Mason City Police Department, and the North Central Iowa Drug Task Force.

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