Broken Arrow, OK

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

Broken Arrow is a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma with a population of approximately 116,000 residents. The city is situated primarily in Tulsa County, OK, but also has a section in western Wagoner County. 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. For example, in 2017, an investigation into a local massage parlor suspected as serving as a front for prostitution was conducted by the Broken Arrow Police Department. The investigation was initiated in response to residential complaints concerning suspected commercial sex activity. As a result of the investigation, the massage parlor owner, a 55-year-old man and one employee, a 40-year-old woman were arrested and booked in the Tulsa County Jail. The massage parlor owner was arrested for “pandering and operating a house of prostitution” and the prostituted woman was arrested on felony prostitution charges of “knowingly transmitting an infectious disease and prostitution within 1000 feet of a school.”

Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking and child sexual abuse material (CSAM, often called “child pornography” in state laws). For example, in 2021, a Broken Arrow man was arrested for allegedly serving as an administrator for a transnational child exploitation chat group has led to five additional arrests and the rescue of multiple child victims in the United States and Europe. Based on an interview with the offender, agents from the FBI reported that the offender,

“…allegedly confirmed that he held an administrative role in multiple groups, to include one specifically designed for sharing of explicit images and videos of children the members had physical access to. He allegedly stated that he had traded images of child sexual abuse that would be considered child pornography, to include the sexually explicit “live” image he sent of a child to the online chat group on July 24, 2021. On July 26, 2021, the FBI linked the administrator account to [the offender] and his Broken Arrow address and executed a search warrant at the residence that same day.”

The FBI and task force partners arrested the Broken Arrow man in addition to five other individuals and rescued child victims in Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, and Norway. He was charged in a federal indictment with child exploitation enterprise; sexual exploitation of a child by a parent; receipt and distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography in Indian Country.

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. In an effort to deter sex buyers, the Broken Arrow Police Department has been known to conduct web-based reverse sting operations since 2010, if not earlier. For example, in March 2010, the BAPD conducted a web-based reverse sting operation at a local hotel that resulted in the arrests of four male sex buyers. According to the Broken Arrow Ledger,

“…a total of 10 officers were utilized in various capacities, ranging from posing online as prostitutes or those soliciting sex, to acting as such in person at the hotel. Other officers made the actual arrests and transported suspects to booking where the suspects were charged.”

Following their arrests, the identities, ages and addresses of arrested sex buyers were released to the public.

Oklahoma law prohibits people from engaging in prostitution under 21 O.S. 1029, which addresses both prostitution and solicitation of prostitution in the same manner under the same statute. Both prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors. The penalties for prostitution and solicitation include a jail term of 30 days to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 on the first offense. The fines increase with subsequent convictions, and the court may also mandate 40 to 80 hours of community service.

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Community Service, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Oklahoma
Type City
Population 116330
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