Cheyenne is a city of about 60,000 residents situated in southeastern Wyoming, at the intersection of two major interstate highways (80 and 25). The presence of prostitution in Cheyenne has been documented since at least the late 1800s. In contemporary times, prostitution and child sex trafficking have been documented in the city, and among the responses have been efforts to combat consumer-level demand by targeting those buying sex.
The first known proactive effort to apprehend sex buyers in Cheyenne occurred in the summer of 2016. Cheyenne Police Department officers partnered with the FBI, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office to conduct a web-based sting targeting both sex buyers and sellers. During the investigation, which reportedly took a year to prepare and deploy, law enforcement posted (and responded to) online advertisements suggesting prostitution and arranged to meet the individuals who replied at an undisclosed hotel. The suspects were taken into custody after making an offer of money in exchange for commercial sex acts. Fifteen people were arrested as a result of the sting, including 9 attempted sex buyers. All of the offenders’ names, ages, and arrest photos were publicized in local media outlets. A second sting was conducted October 14-16, 2016 as part of the FBI’s 10th annual Operation Cross Country – an international coordinated law enforcement effort to recover underage victims of prostitution, and resulted in the arrests of six male sex buyers (two of the men were from out of state, the others local).
In January 2017, another multi-jurisdictional collaboration targeting sex trafficking resulted in the arrest of six male sex buyers, whose identities were released to news outlets. In February, 2018, the Cheyenne Police Department made several arrests during a human trafficking operation in an undisclosed location. The operation led to seven total arrests, five of which were men who were allegedly paying for sex, or willing to pay. Their were released to news outlets.
- Cheyenne Police Department
- Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation
- Laramie County District Attorney’s Office
- Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Internet Crimes Against Children unit
- John Arrests with Shaming:
- “Local Man Pays Fine for Offer to Trade Money for Sex Act,” Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, October 12 2004.
- http://shortgo.co/recent-arrests-laramie-county-11/ (2017)
- “CPD Arrests Nine in Prostitution Operation,” KGWN, January 19, 2017.
- “Cheyenne Police make nine arrests in latest prostitution operation,” Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, January 19, 2017.
- https://www.wyomingnews.com/former-east-high-teacher-gets-probation-for-prostitution-charge (2017)
- https://www.wyomingnewsnow.tv/Cheyenne-Police-make-several-arrests-following-prostitution-sting (2018)
- https://www.facebook.com/CheyennePoliceDepartment/prostitution-solicit-arrests (2018)
- Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- “Man Accused of Asking Boys for Oral Sex in Exchange for Cash,” Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, March 25 2009.
- https://k2radio.com/casper-police-arrest-four-in-alleged-prostitution-scheme/ (2010)
- “Local authorities crack down on sex trade in Cheyenne.” Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, October 30, 2016.
- http://www.kgwn.tv/content/news/Man-arrested-in-Cheyenne-sting-charged with Human Trafficking (2018)
- http://kgab.com/utah-man-facing-10-100-years-in-cheyenne-prostitution-bust/ (2018)
- https://kgab.com/texas-man-charged-with-sex-trafficking-at-cheyenne-hotel/ (2018)
- https://www.wyomingnews.com/man-arrested-on-federal-sex-trafficking-charges (2019)