Six men in Madison and 11 other men around Wisconsin were arrested in a three-day Internet child sex sting conducted last week, authorities reported.
The state Attorney General's Office announced the results of Operation Black Veil in a news release Monday morning.
The large-scale Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) operation targeted online predators who were soliciting children for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct, the Attorney General's Office said.
The sting used classified ads online to get the alleged predators interested in meeting the "teens," with law enforcement arresting the suspects when they showed up at the meeting place.
The operation took place Tuesday through Thursday.
The six men arrested in Madison were Charles Zimmerman, 36, of Poynette, tentatively charged with trafficking of a child; Timothy Marking, 49, of DeForest, tentatively charged with trafficking of a child and child enticement; Marc Marion, 55, of Madison, tentatively charged with use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime; Jeremy Stegall, 29, of Fitchburg, tentatively charged with use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime; Douglas Crueger, 34, of Coloma, tentatively charged with solicitation of a prostitute; and Timothy Belz, 18, of Sun Prairie, tentatively charged with use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and solicitation of a prostitute.
Other arrests were made in Green Bay, Minoqua, Wausau, Kenosha, Appleton and Shawano.
"Policing the Internet for those who wish to exploit children presents unique challenges for law enforcement in areas of investigative resources, forensic technology and jurisdictional boundaries," the release said.
Law enforcement agencies taking part in the sting included Sheriff's Offices from Brown, Door, Dane, Kewaunee, Oconto, Marinette, Marathon and Outagamie Counties; Police Departments from Madison, Ashwaubenon, Sturgeon Bay, Minoqua, Kenosha and Shawano; the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.