Eight men have been arrested in west suburban Aurora during a series of stings targeting people who allegedly sought underage sex through online advertisements.
During the six-week operation, law enforcement officials placed ads offering sexual services on a website known to promote prostitution, according to an Aurora Police statement and spokesman Dan Ferrelli.
Men who responded to the ads were told the services were being offered by underage girls, according to the statement. The men were later arrested when they allegedly showed up at an Aurora hotel where they thought they were going to meet the girls.
“These alleged crimes shake our community to its very core,” Aurora Chief of Police Greg Thomas said in the statement. “The human trafficking of children is deplorable and has absolutely no place in a civilized society. We will continue to work tirelessly with law enforcement at all levels to eradicate this disgusting behavior and do everything we can to protect our children.”
The eight men were arrested in three separate stings, one in January and two in December, Ferrelli said.
They each face felony charges of involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, traveling to meet a minor, and grooming, according to police. They include:
- Andres Alonso, 22, of the 900 block of Gates Street in Aurora;
- Josh Todd Archer, 32, of the 1500 block of Simms Street in Aurora;
- Ruryk Michel, 38, of the 500 block of Hidden Creek Lane in North Aurora;
- Juan Morales, 26, of the 10500 block of South Avenue L in Chicago;
- Marek Gaciarz, 32 of the 3700 block of North Octavia Avenue in Chicago;
- Eric Francis Ziemba, 40, of the 700 block of Wimore Drive in Oswego;
- Nabeel Afsar, 21, of the 1300 block of Santa Anna Drive in Hanover Park;
- and Shane R. Lewis, 35, of the 500 block of North Mill Road in Kennet Square, Penn.
Police continue to investigate, and are not disclosing the location of the hotel “in order protect the integrity of future operations,” the statement said.
The Aurora Police Department’s Special Operations Group and agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations carried out the investigation.