(From Top Left to Right): Scott Walker, Randall Nesst, Purnell Caradine, Jaime Gonzalez, David Brown, Andrew Desmedt, Alexis Torres, Efren Renedo.

An undercover sting left eight Lake County area men with a solicitation of a sexual act charge after the Lake County Sheriff’s Office participated in a nationwide operation.

Lake County Sheriff Sgt. Christopher Covelli said that the Gang Task Force went undercover during a nationwide operation in coalition with federal and local law enforcement agencies which targeted customers of prostitutes, known as “Johns.”

“This was a web-based operation and utilized a classified advertising website, regularly used as a medium for prostitution.  When the “Johns” arrived and offered money to the undercover detectives for sexual acts, they were arrested and transported to the Lake County Jail,” Covelli said.

In the past seven years, over 8,000 “Johns” and sex traffickers have been arrested nationwide in this operation, according to Covelli.

“There is a clear link between prostitution and human trafficking.  Human trafficking exists even here in Lake County, and the traffickers often prey on our most vulnerable.  Over the last two years the Lake County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force has successfully rescued five women being trafficked,” Sheriff Mark Curran said.

[Suggested Article]  'Caught him red-handed': Judge denies pre-trial release to Lake Zurich man caught watching child pornography during warrant

The operation in Lake County was conducted in the 4100 block of Fountain Square Place in Waukegan. The following men were arrested:

  • Alexis Torres, 47, of the 1000 block of Merton Avenue, Waukegan
  • David Brown, 45, of the 6200 block of 12th Avenue, Kenosha, WI
  • Efren Renedo, 18, of the 3000 block of West Grandville Avenue, Waukegan
  • Jaime Gonzalez, 21, of the 1200 block of Witchwood Court, Round Lake Beach
  • Purnell Caradine, 39, of the 12800 block of 71st Street, Kenosha, WI
  • Randall Nesst, 59, of the of the 3500 block of South McIntosh Lane, New Berlin, WI
  • Scott Walker, 27, of the 10200 block of West Pickford Avenue, Beach Park
  • Andrew Desmedt, 44, of the 900 block of Goodwin Drive, Park Ridge

All of the men were charged with one count of solicitation of a sexual act, which is a class A misdemeanor. They are scheduled to appear in court on September 10.

[Suggested Article]  'Prevented bloodshed in our community': Grayslake man arrested for manufacturing firearms, machine gun conversion devices

Desmedt was also charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He is scheduled to appear in court again on October 11.