SIOUX FALLS, SD—Two N’West Iowa men were arrested early Monday evening, Feb. 25, in Sioux Falls, SD, on suspicion of attempting to solicit sex from prostitutes.
According to the Sioux Falls Police Department, 53-year-old David Alan Cleveringa of Sioux Center and 55-year-old Kevin Gene Van Beek of Inwood were charged in separate cases with hiring for sexual activity, a Class 1 misdemeanor in South Dakota.
Class 1 misdemeanors are arrestable offenses and considered the most serious kind of misdemeanor before violations of the law become felonies in South Dakota.
Cleveringa and Van Beek were booked Monday, Feb. 25, into the Minnehaha County Jail in Sioux Falls and released the same day after posting bond.
Sam Clemens, public information officer for the police department, said the two men were arrested at a Sioux Falls hotel during what law enforcement called a “reverse” prostitution operation.
This kind of operation also is known as a “Reverse John Operation,” during which the police department puts together a sting to take men — known as “johns” — into custody for attempting to solicit sex from prostitutes.
During the recent operation, female police officers went undercover, posed as prostitutes and advertised their services online on sites frequently used for prostitution ads.
“We had more than 100 people that called and texted,” Clemens said. “Two people showed up to exchange money for sex.”
Clemens said the department had several of its officers undergo extensive training in recent years on human trafficking and for how to set up and carry out “reverse” prostitution stings.
He confirmed more undercover operations similar to the sting are being planned by the department to deal with the supply and demand of human trafficking.
“The whole goal is to find people being trafficked and get them out of that situation,” Clemens said. “The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of people being trafficked and find those who are trafficking others.”