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OVER 1,000 ARRESTS IN NATIONAL
SUMMER SEX TRAFFICKING STING

Home > Press Page

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 A national coalition of law enforcement agencies conducted a summer sting operation that led to 1032 arrests – 961 would-be sex buyers (or “johns”) and 71 pimps or traffickers – Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

This initiative ran for approximately three months from June 1 – Aug. 30 and brought together 39 law enforcement agencies throughout 18 states in a widespread crackdown on the demand for purchased sex.

The operation also targeted pimps and traffickers who have forced victims into lives of prostitution. 71 men were taken into custody on charges of pimping, trafficking or promoting prostitution.

Sheriff Dart conceived these sweeps in 2011 to highlight the role of sex solicitors as perpetrators to this violent and exploitative industry. Since then, the Cook County Sheriff-led national coalition has grown rapidly, with this sting emerging as the largest and most successful operation yet. The campaign has highlighted the online evolution of the sex trade – 41 percent of the johns and trafficker arrests stemmed from online ads for prostitution. 98 percent of that online activity occurred on Backpage.com

The results of the latest National Johns Suppression Initiative reflect growing momentum for this national movement. Across ten operations over a four-year stretch, the collaborative effort has led to the arrests of more than 4,000 total johns and traffickers.

“This broad national movement should send a strong message to prospective johns that sex trafficking simply is not a victimless crime,” said Sheriff Dart. “These women and girls have been brutalized and exploited – and the most effective way to deter these heinous crimes is to target the demand.”

Cumulative numbers from the “National Johns Suppression Initiative” campaign are as follows:

Noteworthy anecdotes from the sweep include:

Agencies who participated in this sting include:

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Illinois

Indiana

Massachusetts

Minnesota

Nebraska

Nevada

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Texas

Virginia

Washington

*Special thanks to Demand Abolition for their support of this national initiative

**Numbers are preliminary and may be subject to change

 

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