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Cheyenne County is located in southern Nebraska, within 10 miles of the Colorado state line. The county seat is the city of Sidney, and its population is just under 10,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been documented in that city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Cheyenne County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, in January 2015, a man was charged in Cheyenne County Court of 3rd degree assault and solicitation of prostitution. In January 2018, four men previously arrested in an undercover prostitution sting appeared in Scotts Bluff County Court. Undercover investigators had posted advertisements on the internet. Men responded to the ads and texted the “females” to arrange pricing and the location where they would meet for commercial sex. In the communications, the stated age of the provider of commercial sex was 15 years old. In two instances, undercover investigators arrange for the men to buy access to sexually abuse a 15-year-old girl and her mother. Once the men arrived to the location, the arrest team answered the door and arrested the suspects. Charges included Sex Trafficking (Class 1B Felony), Solicitation of Prostitution (Class IV felony and Class 1 misdemeanor). The investigation was a collaborative effort of nine different agencies including the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, the Scottsbluff County Attorney’s Office, the Salvation Army, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Scottsbluff Police Department, the Gering Police Department, the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, the Sidney Police Department and the Alliance Police Department.
In June 2018, the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) arrested one person in Sidney following a Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force operation. The suspect was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. The Task Force was assisted by the WING (Western Nebraska Intelligence and Narcotics Group) Task Force, the Sidney Police Department, Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office, Gering Police Department, Scottsbluff Police Department, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, the Nebraska State Patrol, and several other entities.
Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- http://kneb.com/four-arrested-in-panhandle-prostitution-sting-to-make-first-court-appearance/ (2018)
- http://nebraska.tv/mitchell-man-arrested-in-human-trafficking-operation (2018)
- http://www.knopnews2.com/Mitchell-man-arrested-in-Human-Trafficking-Task-Force-operation (2018)
- http://www.ksidradio.com/details (2018)
- https://www.starherald.com/mitchell-man-arrested-during-human-trafficking-task-force-operation (2018)
- https://statepatrol.nebraska.gov/about/news (2018)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: