Ames is a city of approximately 60,000 residents, situated north of Des Moines in Story County, Iowa. Prostitution and the solicitation of minors for commercial sex have been reported in the city.
In an effort to reduce prostitution and sex trafficking activities in the area, the Ames Police Department conducted a web-based reverse sting in early April 2014. In the cooperation and support of area FBI agents, the APD posted an online advertisement offering commercial sex. As johns responded to the listing, and undercover female officer arranged to meet them at a nearby location. Four men were arrested as a result; all had their names, ages, and hometowns released to the press.
In the days that followed, APD officers described the sting as a kind of “fact-finding mission” to determine the size and scope of the area’s local commercial sex market, as well as whether or not sex trafficking networks operated in the vicinity. Although the APD did not recover any trafficking victims during the operation, officers reported that the city remains “vulnerable because [of] the major highways [that] go through the area.” They APD added that they plan to conduct similar operations in the future.
- Ames Police Department
- Web-Based Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “AMES ARRESTS: Police Conduct Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WHO-TV 13, April 23 2014.
- “Ames Police Arrest Four on Prostitution Charges”, Ames Tribune, April 23 2014.
- “Ames Police Make Four Prostitution Arrests in Undercover Operation”, Iowa State Daily, April 23 2014.
- “Police Beat: 4 Arrested in Ames Prostitution Sting”, Des Moines Register, April 23 2014.
- “Ogden Man One of Four Arrested on Prostitution Charges”, Boone News-Republican, April 25 2014.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Ames Police Arrest Man on Prostitution Charge”, Ames Tribune, March 1 2010.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Teen-age Strippers Arrested after Offer of Sex Acts”, Ames Tribune, July 17 2001.
- “Man Arrested, Charged with Prostitution for Third Time”, Ames Tribune, June 2 2010.
- “Two Charged with Prostitution in Ames”, Ames Tribune, January 6 2012.
- “Ames Police Ensure Safety while Dealing with Prostitution Case”, Iowa State Daily, January 10 2012.
- “Illinois Woman Arrested for Prostitution in Ames”, Ames Tribune, November 13 2013.