Beckley, WV

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

Beckley, West Virginia is a small city of less than 17,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented local problems for decades.  Community complaints about prostitution have led police to conduct prostitution operations.  Reasoning that reducing demand would cause the market to contract and reduce the need for a supply to be present, the Beckley Police Department began conducting reverse stings in 2006.  Since then, they have conducted at least one reverse sting per year.  Police have released to the media the names and ages of arrested sex buyers.  A BPD representative stated they filmed one reverse sting in 2006, but have not afterward, believing that the video recordings are not necessary to make arrests.  The BPD has also attempted public education, using the news media to try to communicate to men the health risks taken by engaging in commercial sex. In 2014, a reverse sting produced the arrest of 10 male sex buyers, and their identities were disclosed. In a 2017 operation, another 10 sex buyers were arrested.

In September, 2021, a man was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for a sex offense against a minor.  He had previously pleaded guilty to travel in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor. Following release from prison, the offender will be placed on 15 years of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.  The offender had admitted that on August 7, 2020, he initiated contact with a person on a Kik Messaging group for West Virginia teens. Believing this person to be a 13-year-old girl from Beckley, he engaged in conversations and told the minor he wanted to meet her to engage in sexual activity and coached her on masturbation and watching pornography in order to prepare for their sexual encounter.

Key Partners

  • Beckley Police Department
  • FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force

Key Sources

National Assessment Survey

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Related CSAM in the Area:

State West Virginia
Type City
Population 16240
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