American Fork, UT

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

American Fork is a city in Utah County, Utah, located north of Utah Lake. It is part of the Provo–Orem Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the population is roughly 33,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city and surrounding areas, generating complaints to the police by residents. For example, in 2019, a couple was arrested after police discovered they had been running a prostitution business out of their home. The American Fork Police Department reported that a home in a quiet, family neighborhood near 9900 North and 4500 West had become a target for investigation. The residents of the home had posed no problems for eight to 10 years. Still, over a four-month period, neighbors noticed some unusual activity, with two different separate incidents in which the police were contacted about activity at the house. Neighbors noticed an unusually high volume of visitors at the home, an activity that often suggests drug use or prostitution. Police investigated the couple for about three weeks and found they were advertising their sexually-oriented business on social networking websites.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. One demand reduction tactic often employed by American Fork Police is Identity Disclosure. For example, in February 2021, six people were arrested following an investigation into a chain of massage parlors in Utah County, which police said were fronts for human trafficking and prostitution. The investigation started in September 2020, based on an anonymous tip from a citizen. Over the next several months, undercover officers went to at least four massage parlors in American Fork and Orem. They reported that they were offered sex acts in exchange for money. The investigation culminated in search warrants served at the four businesses and a home in Lindon. The women working at the massage parlors were often required to live there and rarely allowed to leave; at least one woman was determined to be a victim of human trafficking.  Some of the women were forced to live in small closets or rooms within the massage business and given only minimal means for survival, according to the affidavits. Defendants faced several charges, including engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, aiding prostitution, money laundering, prostitution, and human trafficking. During one of the raids, a customer admitted he had learned about the business on the dark web, according to an affidavit. The man was arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Identity Disclosure of Arrested Sex Buyer:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Utah
Type City
Population 33337
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