Ankeny, IA

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

Ankeny is a city of approximately 70,000 residents, situated just north of Des Moines along Interstate 35 in Polk County, Iowa. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city, and investigations and enforcement actions have been conducted for decades.

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. The Ankeny Police Department has conducted at reverse stings targeting sex buyers. In November 2013, the APD arrested eight male sex buyers during a web-based operation. The arrests took place at an undisclosed hotel in Ankeny, after investigators placed a decoy advertisement on and fielded approximately 200 inquiries. According to media reports, city police rotate prostitution stings among the 12 hotels in the city in order to target web predators who may be involved in human trafficking offenses.

Under Iowa Code 725.1, the charge of prostitution is an aggravated misdemeanor, making it punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of $625 to $6,250. The name, age, occupation, and city of residence of each of the men arrested were released to the media and included in a press release posted on the City of Ankeny’s website.

Key Partners

  • Ankeny Police Department

Key Sources

Web Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

State Iowa
Type City
Population 70287
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