Chesterfield County, VA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Chesterfield County is a county of approximately 325,000 residents, located in the southern suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.In this county, sex buyers are the main targets of prostitution stings. Operations such as reverse stings, web-based reverse stings, and shaming are common ways law enforcement agencies attempt to battle prostitution and sex trafficking.  These efforts have been ongoing since at least 2001 and operations usually occur several times a year.  From 2001 to 2009, 243 men were arrested in Chesterfield County during reverse stings. In April, 2015, five men were arrested in connection to an undercover operation targeting solicitation for prostitution in Chesterfield County. A reverse sting was conducted at a motel in the 8800 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. As a result of the investigation, five sex buyers were charged with solicitation of a prostitute and use of vehicle to promote prostitution. The identities of the men were included in news releases.

While average sentences for these types of offenses in Chesterfield County are 30-day suspended jail sentences accompanied by $100 fines, punishments can be more serious, such as a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.  HIV testing and counseling about HIV transmission is required by state law if sex buyers are convicted.  Another common and, from the point of view of the buyers, more severe penalty utilized in Chesterfield County is shaming, where the names, ages, and addresses of the men are published in community newspapers.

Sex buyers may be charged with felony prostitution charges if they solicit minors.  For example, in March, 2021, 20 men were arrested during a two-day operation for soliciting sex from minors online and through social media platforms.  Chesterfield County Police Special Victims Detectives communicated with suspects undercover and arranged to meet with people to complete the purchase of access to sexually abuse minors. Once the suspects came to the location and continued to express interest in buying sex to decoy officers, they were arrested. The identities, including photos, of all 20 sex buyers were included in news releases.  Among the charges faced by the arrested men were felony solicitation of prostitution, use of a vehicle to promote prostitution, carrying a concealed weapon, firearm violation after involuntary commitment, distribution of certain drugs to persons under 18, and obstruction of justice.

Key Partners

  • Chesterfield County Police Department
  • Henrico County Police Department
  • U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • FBI

Key Sources

State Virginia
Type County
Population 322388
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