Cobb County, GA

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

Cobb County is located in the Atlanta metropolitan area in the north central portion of the state. As of 2020 Census, its population was over 766,000. Its county seat and largest city is Marietta, and other noteworthy communities include Kennesaw. Prostitution activity has been well-documented throughout the county. This activity, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. A wide range of additional crimes associated with the local sex trade has also been documented, including child sex trafficking and at least one prostitution-related homicide.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and demand reduction tactics – including the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities – have been used within the county. Some of these demand reduction operations have involved collaborations between municipal police departments and the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office. For example, local police have conducted street-level reverse stings in an attempt to combat demand. One operation, which was conducted in July of 2000, spanned just over 48 hours and employed two undercover female officers as decoys. It resulted in the arrest of 55 individuals on prostitution-related charges. The names and identities of the offenders were not made public. Sex buyers in Marietta and Cobb County have been charged with misdemeanor solicitation of sex, or pandering. The fines have been between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on how many times they have been arrested, and they often are ordered to comply with probation supervision. In March, 2018, at least two men were arrested in a local web-based reverse sting.  The men believed they were meeting with a 14 year old girl for paid sexual abuse.  The men’s identities were included in news reports.

Some local arrests of sex buyers are the result of investigating allegations against real victims as opposed to the product of sting operations using police decoys. For example, in June, 2020, a local man was arrested in Kennesaw on allegations he had used Snapchat to solicit teenage girls for paid sexual abuse.  The man allegedly used the social media app to offer girls ages 13 to 19 money for various acts of sexual abuse. The investigation began when a 14-year-old girl reported the messages she had received to a children’s advocacy group. The suspect gave the teenagers his cellphone number, and investigators were able to locate him through his IP address. His cellphone records were then searched, it was found that multiple underage girls been offered money in exchange for sexual photos, videos and/or sexual acts.  The suspect was arrested at his Kennesaw home. He was charged with 12 counts of sex trafficking, two counts of computer pornography, and sexual exploitation of a child.

Key Partners

  • Cobb County Sheriff’s Office
  • Marietta Police Department
  • Kennesaw Police Department
  • FBI
  • Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Web Based Reverse Stings:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Georgia
Type County
Population 766802
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