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A Nashua man is among nine suspects who were arrested on Wednesday on charges of prostitution as part of a sting operation in Clear Lake.

According to a release from the Clear Lake Police Department, the operation focused on human trafficking. Arrested were:

Brian Cole, 55, of Nashua, for solicitation of prostitution.

Steven Menke, 61, of Bancroft, for solicitation of prostitution.

Chad Sovanski, 47, of Milan, Illinois, for solicitation of prostitution.

Phillip Bishop, 65, of Mason City, for solicitation of prostitution and delivery of a controlled substance.

Brian Button, 48, of Charles City, for solicitation of prostitution.

Scott Biernbaum, 48, of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Clear Lake, for solicitation of prostitution.

Mallory Wiese, 26, of Mason City, for prostitution.

Ashley Kelly, 22, of Midland, Alabama, for prostitution.

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

Clear Lake officers worked closely with other investigators from surrounding law enforcement agencies in order to successfully plan and safely execute this “sting” operation. All nine arrested individuals were transported to the Cerro County Jail.

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

A criminal charge is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.