Two men charged with promoting prostitution near Zion: officials

Two men who authorities said were passing out business cards advertising a prostitution operation in unincorporated Zion have been arrested and charged with promoting prostitution.

According to a statement issued by the Lake County Sheriff's Office early Friday, members of the sheriff's Gang Task Force, along with the Lake County State's Attorney's Office Special Victims investigators, arrested Gilberto Garcia, 22, of Aurora, and Jhonatan Diaz, 21, of Beach Park on Nov. 28.

Sheriff's office Sgt. Christopher Covelli said the two men were actively promoting prostitution at a residence in Newport Township.

Covelli said an undercover officer met with Garcia at a residence in the 14300 block of West 9th St. Garcia led the detective into the home, introduced him to two women, and then provided the detective with the price to engage in sexual acts with the women, Covelli said.

Garcia was arrested at the scene without incident, according to sheriff's reports, and Diaz, who authorities said was responsible for answering telephone calls and making reservations for men to have sex with the women for money, was also arrested without incident.

The women were relocated to safe housing, Covelli said.

The state's attorney's office is asking that anyone with further information on this case or other similar instances to contact the sheriff's office.

Covelli said that prior to their arrests, the men were passing out "business cards" promoting the illegal sex services to men in area parking lots.

"Human trafficking investigations are a priority of the Sheriff's Gang Task Force, and cases like this are exactly why," Sheriff Mark Curran said in a written statement. "I am thankful these two women were able to be relocated to safety. I applaud the multi-agency collaboration in this investigation."

Diaz was charged with promoting prostitution, a felony, and was in the Lake County jail Friday with bail set at $50,000, according to Covelli. He has a preliminary court appearance scheduled Dec. 5.

Garcia was also charged with promoting prostitution, Covelli said, and also had an active arrest warrant from DuPage County for criminal damage to property, as well as an arrest warrant from Aurora for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Garcia was also in Lake County jail Friday on $50,000 bail, with an initial court date Dec. 5.

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Copyright © 2017, Lake County News-Sun
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