Caldwell, ID

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

Located in southwestern Idaho, Caldwell is the government seat of Canyon County and has approximately 57,000 residents. Prostitution and associated problems, such as sex trafficking and child sexual abuse, have been documented in the area. For example, in December 2013, detectives with the Caldwell Police Street Crimes Unit arrested eight people after an undercover prostitution sting at a local hotel. In August 2019, several women were arrested and charged with prostitution at Nampa- and Caldwell-area massage parlors. In December 2021, a local organization called the Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition reported that a survey of 401 Idaho residents found 27.2 percent self-identified as sex trafficking victims, and that over 71 percent of victims were women. In March 2022, a Nampa man was arrested due to “various incidents” of child sexual abuse.

Tactics used to address these issues include those that focus on consumer-level demand for commercial sex market, such as reverse sting operations. For example, in August 2017, police conducted a street-level reverse sting operation that targeted sex buyers and resulted in the arrest of five men, aged 30 to 74. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were released to local news outlets. In November 2020, a web-based reverse sting was conducted that resulted in the arrest of five men who were seeking to entice children online.

In response to a survey conducted in 2021 by the NCOSE team for a National Institute of Justice grant to update and expand Demand Forum (Grant #2020-75-CX-0011), representatives from the Caldwell Police Department reported that they have also conducted web- based reverse stings, and that public education specifically targeting demand has occurred in the city.

In addition to reverse sting operations, sex buyers have been apprehended through alternative investigations and routine traffic stops. For example, in 2015, a 36-year-old woman and a 19-year-old Nampa man were arrested on prostitution-related charges, after authorities discovered that the woman had rented a motel room to engage in commercial sex. Caldwell police initiated the investigation after an officer received a tip concerning an unusual amount of traffic coming from and going to the motel. According to reports, the woman allegedly posted ads on websites known for prostitution, communicated with potential sex buyers, and rented motel rooms to engage in prostitution with responding sex buyers. Officials found evidence that the young man had solicited the woman for commercial sex through her online ads. Police were able to locate and arrest the suspected sex buyer. He was arrested on the charge of “patronizing a prostitute.” Officers also found marijuana, prescription drugs, and paraphernalia inside the motel room. The identities and images of arrested offenders were included in reports by local media outlets.

Key Sources

2021 National Assessment II Survey

Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Idaho
Type City
Population 56734
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