Espanola, NM

Tactics Used

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

Espanola is a city of about 12,000 residents located in northern New Mexico, near Santa Fe. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are sex trafficking and violence committed against people involved in these transactions. Street Safe New Mexico, a local group helping women living on the streets, says sex trafficking is rampant throughout the state, and the local ranch of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein has been mentioned by accusers as a site of suspected sex trafficking within Santa Fe County.  Prior to a prostitution sting in October, 2013 Espanola Police Department detectives started gathering intelligence and tips from the community that prostituted women were targeting elderly men.  A report on the operation quoted Española Police Chief Eric Garcia saying the next prostitution sting would target the johns, who are creating the demand for the supply of sexual services. “It’s not allowable,” Garcia said. “It’s an arrestable offense. If they don’t want to embarrass their families, just don’t do it.”  He advised the prostitutes’ customers to be warned because the Española Police Department is going to target them next.


Key Partners

  • Espanola Police Department
State New Mexico
Type City
Population 10240
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