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Braintree is a city of approximately 36,000 residents, located roughly five miles south of Boston, Massachusetts. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is human trafficking of both adults and children, and the homicide of prostituted teens.
In November 2015, a posting from the Braintree Police Department reported that they had received complaints from the Braintree Highlands neighborhood regarding prostitution occurring in storefront brothels on Washington Street (Route 37). Residents expressed her concern that the women working there may be coerced to work and wanted police to take positive steps to address this issue and insure that the women were protected. Local police work with the Department of Municipal Licenses and Inspections to insure that all “body works” and other businesses in town are operating legally and that no persons are being coerced to work in these businesses. The Braintree Police Department report that they are aware of the problem of human trafficking and in 2014-2015 every member of the Department received training on the problems and scope of human trafficking and enforcement strategies useful for identifying and addressing this problem. They also work with other law enforcement agencies to combat websites used to advertise prostitution occurring in local hotels. Braintree police have assisted the FBI with major national sting operations targeting human trafficking, and have worked with investigators assigned to the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit on investigations of prostitution in Braintree hotels. In 2017, a 19 year old woman was murdered in a Braintree hotel; the woman had been a victim in a sex trafficking operation in which sex buyers were lured to hotel rooms and were robbed.
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. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Braintree Police Department has conducted web-based reverse stings. In 2016, the Braintree Police Chief said the town’s hotels have been willing to cooperate with his department when it is investigating sex trafficking cases and have also have helped conduct reverse stings, allowed the department to set up operations in rooms to arrest sex buyers who respond to decoy online ads.
- Braintree Police Department
- Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit
- Local Hotels
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
Background on Local Sex Trafficking and Prostitution:
- https://www.masscops.com/five-women-arrested-in-prostitution-ring-in-braintree (2005)
- “Leaving ‘the Life’; Now Seen as Victims of Abuse, Teen Prostitutes Get Help to Break Free”, Boston Globe, June 21 2006.
- “Bound for Misery: On the Fast-Moving Circuit of International Sex Trafficking, Say Police, Women Regularly Shuttle In and Out of Boston”, Boston Globe, January 7 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Charges 7 as FBI Puts Focus on Youth”, Boston Globe, July 6 2008.
- https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/Prostitution-thrives-online-on-South-Shore (2008).
- “Dorchester Man Charged in Human Trafficking, Prostitution Ring”, FOX/WFXT-TV 25, December 19 2012.
- “105 Kids Rescued from Prostitution Rings; 159 Arrested”, USA Today, July 29 2013.
- “Suspect May Plead Guilty in Quincy Kidnapping, Prostitution Case”, Quincy Patriot Ledger, October 11 2013.
- https://nextdoor.com/braintree-police-department/the-beat-goes-on-volume-one (2015)
- https://www.necn.com/FBI-State-Police-Quincy-Massachusetts-Home-Search (2015)
- “Randolph Man Indicted for Sex Trafficking,” Randolph Patch, December 2 2015.
- “Man Pleads Guilty to Operating Human-Trafficking Ring in Boston Area,” NBC/WHDH-TV 7, February 1 2016.
- https://boston.cbslocal.com/braintree-hotel-murder-reina-rodriguez-juana-rivera-arraignment/ (2018)