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RACINE COUNTY, WI — Former Racine County Register of Deeds and current Market President at Community State Bank Tyson Fettes has been charged in an Illinois sex trafficking investigation.

Authorities in Winnebago County, Illinois say a total of 28 people now face 80 charges related to an apparent sex trafficking operation at two Rockford lingerie shops.

Authorities say Fettes, 33, also a current Town of Burlington Supervisor, has been charged with patronizing a prostitute and solicitation of a sexual act, and a warrant for his arrest was filed in Winnebago County. It is not known whether Fettes was one of the several charged who have already gone through booking.

According to multiple reports, Fettes was one of 27 men who were charged. Authorities also say the owner of Chantilly Lace now faces 12 charges of promoting a place of prostitution.

“All of these individuals are charged with patronizing a prostitute, which a Class 4 felony, carrying a penalty of one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marylin Hite Ross said in a Rock River Times report Wednesday. “They are also charged with solicitation of a sexual act, which is a Class A misdemeanor. Warrants have been issued for all of these individuals.”

A Rockford Register Star report indicated that police raided Chantilly Lace, 106 Seventh Street, and Exclusive Lingerie Boutique, 77 Seventh Street in May and shut the two businesses down on apparent code violations. Both businesses were investigated in what authorities called Operation Exclusive from March 9 through May 23.

Chantilly Lace was one of two establishments shut down by authorities in May of 2019. (Google Street Map Image)

“For years, there have been rumors about the type of illicit activities happening in these businesses, but they have been historically difficult to investigate,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said in a statement following the announcement of charges. “With the help of those willing to come forward and provide critical information, we were able to shut these businesses down and take a big step in ending this type of activity in our community.”

Fettes stepped down as Racine County Register of Deeds in April – within the time frame of Operation Exclusive – to take the Burlington banking job.

Fettes was first appointed to the Racine County Register of Deeds position in 2011. In his statement about Fettes’ appointment, Gov. Scott Walker said, “Tyson Fettes’s professional background brings a wealth of customer service which will serve the office well as it transitions under his leadership. As a Supervisor for the Town of Burlington, Tyson has garnered the respect and trust necessary in a public official.”

Since taking office, Fettes was credited with leading a number of changes at the office, including: the modernization of the GIS system to allow for greater public access to data, the digitalization of all real estate records including making information on all 70,000 county plats of land available online, while also implementing a notification system to track and prevent fraud.

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