It’s not usually the police who get arrested in sting operations. Usually, it’s them collaring drug dealers, gang members and other criminals.
But this time, it was a Walnut Grove police chief who got caught in a sting in western Minnesota.
Michael Zeug was arrested after the Redwood County police posted fake underage prostitution advertisements on Craigslist, according to a Minnesota CBS subsidiary.
Police were rather surprised when Zeug was the first person to respond.
Zeug reportedly called the phone number in the ads and, under the illusion he was talking to a 17-year-old girl, denied he was a cop and said that he was "just a hard-working farming dude looking for discreet fun."
He then asked for nude photos and agreed to pay for an erotic service, adding that this was his "first time," according to a filed complaint.
Zeug was apprehended near a decoy house the police used for the sting.
According to Redwood County attorney Stephen Collins, "The thing that's troubling… is not only that he would participate in this kind of activity, but that he would participate in this kind of activity essentially in his backyard."
Now, every case Zeug was investigating as police chief could be in jeopardy, Collins explained.
"It's a complete betrayal. I've known Mike Zeug for many, many years and have relied on him to bring cases forward from Walnut Grove because we're the prosecuting authority in Walnut Grove. I was shocked," Collins told CBS.
Due to their prior cooperation, Collins will not be allowed to prosecute Zeug; his case will go to another county.
Following his arrest, Zeug was suspended without pay by the Walnut Grove City Council.
He could get up to five years in prison for the felony charge.