Casper, WY

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

Casper is a city in Central Wyoming with a population of about 59,000 residents. It is the county seat of Natrona County, WY. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified by police as a persistent presence in the city, and has led to tips and complaints from residents. Among the more serious issues associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. For example, in June 2014, a 16-year-old trafficking victim was recovered 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 pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In a 2021 article, it was reported that online predation targeting minors was increasing rapidly in Casper and throughout the state, in part due to great increases in use of the Internet due to COVID restrictions in 2020-2021.

In effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the area, the CPD has occasionally targeted sex buyers during sting operations. Officers have conducted numerous web-based reverse stings by placing a decoy advertisement to a website known for prostitution, and arresting the individuals who respond and attempt to solicit undercover female officers for sex in exchange for money. As with arrested sex traffickers/pimps and prostituted women arrested in Casper, arrested sex buyers 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. For example, in 2014, the CPD conducted a web-based reverse sting operation that resulted in the arrest of six male sex buyers for soliciting prostitution. According to reports, the sex buyers had responded to decoy ads posted on websites known for commercial sex by undercover CPD officers and agreed to meet at a predetermined location. Upon their arrival to the arranged meeting spot, the men were arrested by CPD officers and charged with soliciting prostitution. Their identities and images were included in reports by local media outlets. Following the operation, a CPD sergeant reported that the department conducts such stings every two or three months because “prostitution leads to human trafficking.”

The CPD has also participated in the FBI’s annual child sex trafficking investigation, Operation Cross Country, since 2013. As a result of these operations, the Casper Police Department has reportedly rescued at least one child sex trafficking victim, arrested sex buyers and sex traffickers, and cited/identified women engaging in prostitution. For example, in 2014, during Operation Cross Country VIII, the CPD identified and rescued a 16-year-old girl who had been transported from Colorado to Casper for purposes of sex trafficking. In 2017, as a result of their participation in Operation Cross Country XI, the CPD arrested five male sex buyers in Casper.

In addition to conducting reverse stings, sex buyers have been apprehended through alternative investigations or residential reports to local law enforcement. For example, in 2014, a 53-year-old Casper man, with more than 60 arrests and citations in the Casper area, was arrested for soliciting prostitution. According to reports, the sex buyer had approached a woman and her friend at a gas station and demanded they drive him to a local video store. While in the car, he attempted to solicit sex from them in exchange for $200. The women reported the incident to police and stated that he was violent and drove him around until he eventually got out of the car. The woman immediately reported the incident to police, who then arrested the offender two days after the incident. The identity and image of the arrested sex buyer was included in reports by local media outlets.

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Public Education:

Operation Cross Country:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Wyoming
Type City
Population 58656
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