Walnut Grove, Minn. police chief arrested in underage prostitution sting

A small town Minnesota police chief was busted in a multi-agency covert operation targeting the demand for underage sex trafficking. The sting took place last Friday, June 9 in Redwood Falls.

Michael Robert Zeug, 45, is charged with felony prostitution, attempting to hire a minor under 18. According to the criminal complaint, Zeug responded to a Craigslist ad for sex with an undercover agent posing as a 17-year-old girl.

During an exchange of messages, Zeug responded that “yeah this isn’t my first time” and “humm yeah I’m wanting to meet up but man you need to reassure me your not working with the cops and crap.” When the undercover agent asked, “Dude. R u a cop? If you are you have to tell me,” Zeug responded, “im no f---ing pig.”

According to the criminal complaint, Zeug said he was driving to Redwood Falls and asked the girl to send nude photos. He also asked her to stand at the front of the house and flash her breasts as he drove by so he could verify she was not a law enforcement officer. Zeug was seen by the sting operation’s surveillance team doing multiple laps around the residence and the area of the home once he was given the address.

Zeug stopped and parked near where the decoy house set up by law enforcement. He was arrested near the house in Redwood Falls.

The criminal complaint doesn’t mention Zeug’s role as police chief of Walnut Grove, but mentions that he had a law enforcement radio on him, which gave him the capability to monitor police channels.

Monday night, the city council in Walnut Grove will discuss the arrest of the police chief, who has held the job for the last 12 years.  

Walnut Grove is a town of fewer than 1,000 people in Redwood County, about 80 miles west on Mankato.