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Home > Press Page

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 More than 1,300 sex buyers – a record – were arrested across 18 states in this summer’s National Johns Suppression Initiative aimed at reducing sex trafficking, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

The operation by a national coalition of law enforcement agencies recovered 32 underage girls lured into human trafficking and made 71 human trafficking arrests. The operation lasted approximately one month, from July 1 to August 7. **

This is the 12th operation for the nationwide initiative, which Sheriff Dart launched in 2011 to highlight the role of sex buyers – or ‘johns’ -- as perpetrators in this violent and exploitive industry. The initiative has so far resulted in the arrest of more than 5,800 johns by more than 70 arresting agencies across 22 states.

This summer Sheriff Dart welcomed 10 new partners, including New York City and Philadelphia police departments. Initiative partners now cover the nation’s 10 largest cities.

This summer’s initiative also focused on ensuring that victims of sex trafficking were connected with appropriate social services. For departments without existing ties to service agencies, the initiative helped equip front-line officers with information to connect to the national human trafficking hotline to gain access to local services providers.

Cumulative numbers from the 12th National Johns Suppression Initiative campaign are as follows:

Noteworthy anecdotes from this sweep include:

Agencies with the most arrests:

Other law enforcement partners combined for approximately 250 of arrests made: Glendale (Ariz.) Police Department; Phoenix Police Department; Mesa (Ariz.) Police Department; Tucson (Ariz.) Police Department; Little Rock (Ark.) Police Department; San Diego Police Department; Denver Police Department, DeKalb (Ga.) Police Department; Arlington Heights (Ill.) Police Department; Lake County, (Ill.) Sheriff’s Office; Lansing (Ill) Police Department; Matteson (Ill.) Police Department; Howard County (Md.) Police Department; Prince George (Md.) Police Department, Maple Grove (Minn.) Police Department; Lincoln (Neb.) Police Department; New York City Police Department; Las Vegas Police Department; Reno (Nev.) Police Department; Wood County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office; Dauphin County (Penn.) Police Department; Pittsburgh Police Department; Philadelphia Police Department; Upper Merion Township (Penn.) Police Department.

Sheriff Dart reminds the public that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.

*Special thanks to Demand Abolition for their support of this national initiative.
**Some operations are executed outside the official time period due to the jurisdiction’s capacity
***All numbers are preliminary and subject to revision


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