SIOUX CITY, IA (ABC)- More than a dozen people have been charged with soliciting prostitution after a two night sting carried out by the Sioux City Police Department. The operation resulted in the arrest of 15 people from four states.

According to Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick from the Sioux City Police Department, prostitution continues to be a problem in Sioux City, where people use local clubs and the internet to solicit prostitution. 

Among those arrested was former Sioux City football standout Patrick Grace. Grace played football at Bishop Heelan and later went on to play for the University of Northern Iowa. Grace served as the Offensive Coordinator for Bishop Heelan’s football team during the 2014 season.

The school issued the following statement regarding Grace’s Arrest “Patrick Grace served as the offensive coordinator for the Bishop Heelan High School Football team from 2011 to 2014. He has served in no other roles for the Bishop Heelan Catholic School system. He is currently not employed or engaged by the Bishop Heelan school system in any capacity.”.  



Full List of Those Arrested

Wednesday Night Arrests:

Johan Funk, 48, Storm Lake, IA
Nicholas Schultzen, 30, Moville, IA
David Karlen, 54, DeSmet, SD
Joseph Reiser, 59, Vermillion, SD
Lynn Garrels, 60, Sac City, IA
Mark Myron, 65, Vermillion, SD
Cesar Medina-Rodriguez, 39, Sioux City, IA
Jayson Dowell, 27, Sioux City, IA

Thursday Night Arrests:

James Walling, 47, Inwood, IA
Patrick Grace, 28, Sioux City, IA
Phillip Merriman, 28, Jackson, NE
Michael Hakeneis, 45, Laurel, NE
Heath Coburn, 33, Marcus, IA
Hilario Ramirez, 22, South Sioux City, NE
Anthony Denato, 54, Memphis, TN

Sioux City, IA (ABC9 News ) Police say 15 men from across the tri-state area all got caught in the act of soliciting Wednesday and Thursday night. Although police aren’t offering details like where the men were busted, we do know they come from a wide geographic area, including Iowa. 3 Sioux City men were caught up in the sting plus others form South Dakota and Nebraska. They range in age from 22 to 65. Even though they’ve all been charged, Lt. Mark Kirk Patrick is keeping the details of the operation a secret.

“We really don’t want to release a lot of details on how the operation is conducted because based on the success of it. We’ll want to use them again in the future,” said Kirkpatrick. The term future is pretty realistic Lt. Kirk Patrick says catching people soliciting prostitution is something that happens with regularity.  “Prostitution stings are something we do every year, all the time, year around,” said Kirkpatrick.  Although cops don’t see lots of this action on the streets anymore, it’s still out there.
 
 “You know, unfortunately prostitution is still an issue in Sioux City, it’s just the methods have changed some what. They’ve moved indoors, online, they’ve changed with technology,”said Kirkpatrick.  Not only is technology a big factor but Kirkpatrick says the ever-changing job market also can be a contributing factor.

“It is something we notice that follows transiet work forces,” said Kirkpatrick.