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NEARLY 500 SEX BUYERS ARRESTED IN NATIONAL SEX TRAFFICKING STING OPERATION

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 COOK COUNTY, IL – A national coalition of local law enforcement agencies conducted a sting operation that led to the arrests of 496 would-be sex buyers (or “johns”) and 14 pimps/traffickers, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

The eighth “National Day of Johns Arrests” ran for 18 days from July 17 through August 3. The sting brought together 28 law enforcement agencies throughout 14 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. 14 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 from eight agencies to 59. The campaign has evolved to highlight the role of classified ad site Backpage.com as a conduit for the sex trade – 172 johns ended up in handcuffs after answering what they thought were online ads for prostitution on Backpage, while 12 more were arrested for soliciting sex off of Craigslist ads.

Charges stemming from this effort include adult and juvenile felony sex trafficking, criminal solicitation of a minor, pimping, promotion of adult and juvenile prostitution and public indecency. In addition to the sex-related arrests, the sweeps yielded charges relating to drug trafficking and possession of illegal firearms.

The results of the latest National Day of Johns Arrests sting reflect growing momentum for this national campaign. Across eight operations over a four-year stretch, the collaborative effort has led to the arrests of 2,328 total johns.

“Sex trafficking continues to destroy countless lives, and deterring demand for paid sex is the most effective way to eradicate this reprehensible underground trade,” said Sheriff Dart. “I’m proud of thefantastic results among this growing national coalition as we forcefully deliver the message that prostitution is not a victimless crime.”

Cumulative numbers from the eighth “National Day of Johns Arrests” campaign are as follows:

14 sex trafficking/pimping arrests

111 prostitution victims recovered

Noteworthy anecdotes from the sweep include:

Agencies who participated in this sting include:

  1. Phoenix PD (Arizona)
  2. Phoenix FBI CSEC Unit (Arizona)
  3. Glendale PD (Arizona)
  4. Chandler PD (Arizona)
  5. Mesa PD (Arizona)
  6. Tempe PD (Arizona)
  7. Denver PD (Colorado)
  8. Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Illinois)
  9. Aurora PD (Illinois)
  10. Lake County Sheriff’s Office (Illinois)
  11. Boston PD (Massachusetts)
  12. St. Paul PD (Minnesota)
  13. Minneapolis PD (Minnesota)
  14. Hennipen County Sheriff’s Office (Minnesota)
  15. Minnesota FBI (Minnesota)
  16. Gerald D. Vick Human Trafficking Task Force (Minnesota)
  17. Las Vegas PD (Nevada)
  18. Minot PD (North Dakota)
  19. Cincinnati PD (Ohio)
  20. Dayton PD (Ohio)
  21. Miamisburg PD (Ohio)
  22. Riverside PD (Ohio)
  23. Portland PD (Oregon)
  24. Pittsburgh PD (Pennsylvania)
  25. Greenville County Sheriff’s Office (South Carolina)
  26. Harris County Sheriff’s Office (Texas)
  27. Newport News PD (Virginia)
  28. Seattle PD (Washington)
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