Two arrested in human trafficking investigation

John Hart, 66, and Meirong Li, 53, of Dubuque are charged with pimping and human trafficking.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWQC) On Friday, May 5th, 2017 members of the Dubuque Drug Task Force, Dubuque County Sheriff's Office, Homeland Security, and Dubuque Police Department made two arrests in an ongoing investigation.

John R. Hart, 66, and Meirong Li, 53, both of 2180 Saint Celia Street, Dubuque, were arrested as part of an investigation into the activity at The Flower Garden, 2600 Dodge Street, Unit C7, and at The 485 TuiNa Studio, 485 Locust Street.

Hart and Li are charged with pimping and human trafficking. Both are felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Both are being held on $100,000 cash bond.

On Tuesday, May 2nd, Yanyan Zhao, 27 and Mingyan Li, 54, were arrested and charged with prostitution in this investigation.

The Dubuque Police Department and Sheriff's Office worked with the Dubuque-based human trafficking advocacy group 'Set Free' in this investigation.

A number of other individuals, including patrons of both businesses, have been identified as having some level of involvement in this case. The investigation remains ongoing with additional charges and arrests possible.

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