Judge denies motion in Zeug case

A judge has denied a motion to dismiss charges against the Walnut Grove police chief accused of soliciting sex with a minor. A court order and memorandum filed Thursday said police had reasonable suspicion to stop Michael Robert Zeug for investigation.

Zeug, 45, of Walnut Grove, was one of three men arrested after a sex trafficking and prostitution sting was conducted in Redwood County in June. Zeug was charged with hiring or agreeing to hire a minor for prostitution.

Zeug was suspended as chief of the Walnut Grove Police on June 12.

Zeug’s last scheduled court hearing, in August, was canceled. Instead, lawyers in the case submitted written briefs to the judge, making arguments over whether police had probable cause to arrest Zeug, and whether statements and cell phone information taken from Zeug should be admissible in court.

An order and memorandum from Judge Gregory Anderson said the court had received the briefs, as well as a variety of information related to the case, including email correspondence, audio of an interview with Zeug, and radio activity.

The memorandum said law enforcement stopped Zeug’s vehicle after it drove past two locations under surveillance for the prostitution sting. In email correspondence, a suspect and an undercover officer posing as a 17-year-old girl had named those locations as meeting places, the memorandum said.

Judge Anderson’s order denied a motion to dismiss charges against Zeug. However, as of Friday, no further court hearings for Zeug had been scheduled yet.