Belvidere, IL

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

Belvidere is a city of approximately 25,000 residents in northern Illinois, just east of Rockford. It is located in Boone County and is part of the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. Although no proactive stings targeting demand have been conducted in the city, sex buyer arrests have occurred on at least one occasion. In September 2016, police shut down four massage parlors on State Street in Belvidere, arresting 14 people after a 14-month long investigation. Police then examined business records and other evidence to piece together exactly what was happening inside these spas, pursuing allegations of illegal massages, sexual acts, and prostitution. Belvidere Police said after receiving a number of complaints from the community, they simultaneously executed search warrants at four businesses along State Street. During the searches, police seized a vehicle, financial records, employee records, computers, digital hard drives, security video and security video equipment, about $15,000-$20,000 in cash, massage lotions, and sexual devices. The charges against those arrested ranged from promoting prostitution, prostitution, solicitation of a sex act, and massage licensing act violations. Two of those arrested were male sex buyers, each charged with one count of solicitation of prostitution and taken to the Boone County Jail. Their identities were released to the press.

Key Partners

  • Belvidere Police Department
  • Boone County Sheriff’s Office
  • Illinois State Police
  • Belvidere/Boone Metro Narcotics Unit
  • Illinois State Line Area Narcotics Team (SLANT)
  • Loves Park Police Department
  • Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office
State Illinois
Type City
Population 24932
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