Clear Lake police have arrested seven men and two women on charges related to solicitation of prostitution.

Police Captain Mike Colby says investigators and officers conducted a sting operation in Clear Lake on Wednesday focusing on human trafficking and prostitution. The seven males were all charged with soliciting prostitution: 61-year-old Steven Menke of Bancroft; 55-year-old Brian Cole of Nashua; 47-year-old Chad Sovanski of Milan, Illinois; 65-year-old Phillip Bishop of Mason City;48-year-old Brian Bruton of Charles City; 48-year-old Scott Biernbaum, who lists dual residences of Clear Lake and Lincoln, Nebraska 42-year-old Jeramie Hagen of Crystal Lake, who was also charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

The two women, 25-year-old Mallory Wiese of Mason City and 22-year-old Ashley Kelly of Midland, Alabama, were charged with prostitution. All nine were booked into the Cerro Gordo County Jail. Wiese and Kelly remain in jail this morning on $2,000 bond.

Colby says the goal of the operation was to identify people who were involved in this type of criminal conduct, and they wanted to take a stance against human trafficking and to show that there will be zero tolerance for such activities in the area.

(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)