Casper is a city in central Wyoming with a population of about 55,000. Prostitution has been identified by police as a persistent presence in the city, and has led to tips and complaints from residents. Sex trafficking in the city has also been documented. Most recently, a 16-year-old trafficking victim was recovered in June 2014 during a Casper Police Department sting operation. Officers responded to an internet listing offering commercial sex; when they arranged to meet the “woman” in the advertisement, they discovered she was in fact “a minor, and was listed as a missing endangered person with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.” In March 2015, it was reported that the girl’s trafficker had plead guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In October 2018, a registered sex offender from Everett, WA was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison (and 20 years of court supervision after his incarceration) after pleading guilty in Wyoming to trafficking girls for sexual activity. The offender picked up the girls, ages 12 and 14, who wanted a ride from Seattle to Kansas. The girls reported the man groped them and demanded sexual favors, and that there was pornography on his cellphone along with messages about kidnapping and rape. They escaped and called for help in the town of Little America in southwestern Wyoming. The offender had resigned from the Everett Fire Department in 2014 after he was arrested in a Seattle police sting for attempting to obtain sex from somebody he thought was a 15-year-old girl. The conviction cost him his Washington paramedic license and required him to register as a sex offender.
The CPD occasionally targets sex buyers during sting operations. Officers have staged at least three web-based reverse stings by placing a decoy advertisement to a website known for prostitution, and arresting the johns who respond offers of money for sex. As with arrested pimps and prostituted women, johns arrested in Casper may have their names, mugshots, and other identifying information released to the media. Individuals arrested for solicitation may be held on $1,000 bond while awaiting trial, and usually pay approximately $500 in fines and court costs. Following a web-based reversal in March 2014, a CPD sergeant reported that the department conducts such stings every two or three months because “prostitution leads to human trafficking.”
- Casper Police Department
- Web-Based Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “Three Face Charges Related to Prostitution; Police Use Craigslist to Set Up Undercover Operation”, Casper Star-Tribune, February 17 2010.
- “Five Alleged ‘Johns’ Arrested in Casper”, Casper Star-Tribune, July 11 2013.
- “Five Natrona County Men Arrested for Prostitution Solicitation”, KWTO-AM 1030, July 11 2013.
- “Eight Charged in Undercover Prostitution Sting in Casper”, Casper Star-Tribune, March 28 2014.
- “Six Arrested for Prostitution Solicitation in Sting”, KTWO-AM 1030, March 28 2014.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Joseph Dawson Arrested for Promoting Prostitution with a Minor”, KTWO-AM 1030, June 23 2014.
- “Authorities Rescue 16-Year-Old Girl in Casper during Nationwide Sex Trafficking Sting”, Rapid City Journal, June 24 2014.
- “Colo. Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking,” Scottsbluff Star Herald, October 31 2014.
- “Colorado Man Gets 10 Years for Bringing Underage Girl to Casper for Prostitution,” Franklin Daily Journal, March 3 2015.
- http://k2radio.com/k2-radio-news-flash-briefing-for-october-23rd-2018-morning/ (2018)
- https://www.heraldnet.com/news/former-everett-firefighter-gets-15-years-for-sex-trafficking/ (2018)
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Casper Police Arrest 3 Women in Prostitution Sting”, KWTO-AM 1030, October 4 2011.
- “Casper Police Arrest Four Women for Alleged Backpage.com Prostitution”, Casper Star-Tribune, February 28 2013.
- “Casper Police Nab Four Women for Prostitution”, KWTO-AM 1030, February 28 2013.
- “Alleged Pacific Coast Prostitute, Pimp Charged in Casper”, Billings Gazette, July 25 2013.
- “Shaka Turner Admits to Promoting Prostitution”, KWTO-AM 1030, September 5 2013.
- “California Woman Arrested for Prostitution in Casper”, KWTO-AM 1030, October 8 2013.
- “PORT Investigation Leads to 3 Drug Arrests”, KWTO-AM 1030, October 9 2013.
- “Two Colorado Women Arrested for Prostitution”, KWTO-AM 1030, May 27 2014.