Brookline, MA

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

Brookline is a relatively affluent suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, with a population of about 59,000, located in Norfolk County, MA. Prostitution, particularly indoor prostitution solicited online and occurring in residences and storefront brothels, is known to occur in Brookline and its neighboring suburbs. It has generated complaints and tips to police, and is linked to a number of other crimes. For example, in one case in January 2014, police responded to a complaint from a male sex buyer alleging that when he met a prostituted woman for commercial sex at a local hotel, two individuals – the prostituted woman and her sex trafficker/pimp attempted to kidnap the him. Once inside the room, the sex buyer was not allowed to leave, but he eventually forced himself out. A witness said he saw multiple men entering and leaving the room throughout the night. Police found drugs, a weapon, and two “very young” children sleeping on a second bed in the room where the reported commercial sex and violence took place.

The city has also served as an operating center for larger regional sex trafficking and prostitution rings. In 2016, a Brookline man and an accomplice allegedly brought a woman living with special needs to nearby Chelsea to engage in commercial sex with as many as 10 male sex buyers per day in exchange for drugs. The sex trafficker was wanted on charges of rape, conspiracy to “derive support from the earnings of a prostitute,” and conspiracy to violate the controlled substances act. In July 2018, a man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five to six years in state prison for human trafficking and witness intimidation in connection with supplying multiple women with drugs and trafficking them for commercial sex in Boston, Brookline, Newton, Springfield, and Waltham. He had been indicted on charges of human trafficking, rape, and witness intimidation after being arrested by Boston Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Human Trafficking Division, with assistance from Medford Police and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The investigation revealed that the man allegedly supplied multiple women with drugs, including heroin and cocaine, in exchange for engaging in commercial sexual activity for his personal profit. In April 2022, a former Brookline probation officer and little league umpire previously arraigned on child exploitation charges was indicted on new charges in Suffolk Superior Court including: trafficking a person for sexual servitude, enticing a minor to create and send him sexual images and videos, distribution of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), dissemination of a matter harmful to a minor, posing a child in a state of nudity, and three counts of possession of child sexual abuse materials. The man was previously arraigned in October 2021 to charges of posing a child in a state of nudity, dissemination of “child pornography” (CSAM), and possession of “child pornography.”

To combat the consumer-level demand for commercial sex that drives all sex trafficking and crimes arising from the sex trade, the Brookline Police Department and Boston Police Department have collaborated on reverse stings.  Throughout 2013, Brookline officers worked with Boston police to identify suspects who used Craigslist to barter sex and/or drugs using code words.  For example, in December 2013, the two departments conducted a web-based reversal wherein police arrested two men who allegedly offered an undercover detective marijuana in exchange for sex.  A decoy ad had been placed by detectives on Craigslist. Following the investigation, one man was charged with possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute and having a controlled substance in a school zone. The other was charged with solicitation for prostitution, carrying a dangerous weapon, possession of a Class B and Class D drug with intent to distribute, and having a controlled substance in a school zone. One of the arrested sex buyers was an engineer with the town of Brookline.

A second stage of the online crackdown occurred in mid-December 2013, and resulted in the arrest of three more men. One man was arrested after answering a post that read, “crazy new lifeTime –w4m- 21 (Brookline),” which was posted by Brookline Police. A capital T is used as a reference to methamphetamines, according to the police report. A second man was arrested after allegedly answering an ad posted by Brookline Police titled, “Morning Excitement – w4m- 24 (Brookline).” The third man allegedly answered an ad posted by police titled “Sunflower Seeds-w4m.” Via text messages, the male sex buyer allegedly said he could get “snow,” a code word for cocaine, in exchange for sex, and agreed to meet in Brookline to conduct the transaction.

Key Partners

  • Brookline Police Department
  • Boston Police Department
State Massachusetts
Type City
Population 59223
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