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Two Arrested in Dubuque for Human Trafficking

criminalOn May 5th, 2017, at approximately 9:00 a.m., members of the Dubuque Drug Task Force, Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security, and Dubuque Police Department arrested John R. Hart, 66, and Meirong Li, 53, both of 2180 Saint Celia Street, in Dubuque, as part of the ongoing investigation into the activity at The Flower Garden, 2600 Dodge Street, Unit C7, and at The 485 TuiNa Studio, 485 Locust Street, both in Dubuque. Hart & Li are charged with Pimping and Human Trafficking, both Class D Felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine between $750 & $7,500. Both are being held on a $100,000 cash bond.

As previously reported, Yanyan Zhao, 27, of 485 Locust Street, Dubuque, and Mingyan Li, 54, of Chicago, were arrested on May 2nd and charged with Prostitution as part of this investigation. Prostitution is an Aggravated Misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment up to two years and a fine between $625 and $6,250. Both remain incarcerated in the Dubuque County Jail.

The Dubuque Police & Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank both Homeland Security & Dubuque-based human trafficking advocacy group “Set Free” for their assistance in this major investigation. Numerous other individuals, including patrons of both businesses, have been identified as having some level of involvement in this case and the investigation remains ongoing with additional charges/arrests possible.

As with any criminal case, the charges filed are allegations and any suspects are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. If you have any information on this incident or others, please call the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at 800-747-0117 or 563-588-0714 (if the information leads to an arrest, the caller is eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000). You can also submit tips anonymously online at or through the MyDBQ smartphone app available at

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