Adams County, CO

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Adams County is a county of approximately 500,000 residents, located east of Denver in Colorado. The county includes the cities of Aurora and Brighton, which contain part of the major “strip” or “track” for street prostitution (Colfax), and has had cases of documented child sex trafficking and homicide of prostituted people. Other cities in Adams County that have worked to address demand include Arvada and Commerce City.

Among their attempts to contain the commercial sex market, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office has conducted street-level reverse stings at undisclosed locations since at least 1989, and began to publicize the identities of arrestees in 2007. Operations typically utilize one or more undercover female officers, who pose as decoys. One such sting, conducted in 2007, resulted in the arrest of 26 sex buyers in a single evening. All of the men’s names and arrest photos were released to the public.

In January 2016, law enforcement announced the completion of a web sting targeting individuals attempting to purchase sex from minors in the county. Over the course of the investigation, 10 men were arrested after responding to an online advertisement placed by Colorado State Patrol that suggested commercial sex acts with minor girls. The exact location of the sting was not reported, though many media outlets confirmed it had taken place in Adams County. The operation was reportedly a collaborative effort led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and supported by detectives from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Commerce City Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol. Following their arrests, all of the offenders’ names and mugshots were released to the public. Each was charged with “soliciting for child prostitution” and “criminal attempt to commit trafficking for sexual servitude”; six of the 10 arrestees were also charged with “criminal attempt to commit sexual assault on a child.”

Key Partners

  • Adams County Sheriff’s Office
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Colorado State Patrol
  • Commerce City Police Department



Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings (with Shaming since at least 2007):

Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Colorado
Type County
Population 504108
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