Colbert County, AL

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

Colbert County is a county of about 55,000 residents in northwestern Alabama, on the border with Mississippi. The county seat is Tuscumbia and the largest city is Muscle Shoals. The county contains part of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area know as the “Shoals.” Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the county, resulting in complaints from residents. In 2015 three people were arrested on charges of rape, human trafficking, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl in exchange for drugs and money. In October 2019, a Colbert County man was arrested after drugging a 17-year-old girl and exchanging her for drugs with another man, who sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.

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. Some local arrests of sex buyers are the result of investigating allegations against real victims, rather than the product of sting operations using police decoys. In addition to the sex buyer arrest that occurred in Tuscumbia in 2015, there have been other buyer arrest in the county. For example, in February 2014, five people were arrested, including one sex buyer, in a Colbert County sting operation targeting women in prostitution. The investigation began when the Leighton Police Department received a citizen complaint concerning flyers being posted around town advertising prostitution online. Leighton Police notified the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI), who also learned about suspicious activity at a Tuscumbia hotel. The ABI led an operation across the Shoals area contacting people from the website with the assistance of both the Leighton and Tuscumbia Police Departments, which resulted in the arrest of four women on prostitution charges. Though not the intended target of the operation, one man was arrested for soliciting prostitution and drug charges as well.

Key Partners

  • Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI)
  • Leighton Police Department
  • Tuscumbia Police Department
State Alabama
Type County
Population 54957
Comments are closed.