Fairfax County, VA

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

Fairfax County occupies the northeastern part of Virginia, bordering Alexandria and Arlington County in the suburban Washington, DC area. Some cities in Fairfax County that have worked to address demand include Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Mount Vernon, Springfield, and Tysons Corner. The county has approximately 1.146 million residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified as substantial local problems, which also drive a wide range of other serious crimes, including rape, robbery, kidnapping, homicide, and drugs and weapons offenses. For example, in 2012, federal law enforcement agencies charged five alleged members of a Fairfax County street gang with running a prostitution and sex trafficking ring that recruited high school girls and threatened them with violence if they didn’t cooperate. According to the FBI, the suspects not only threatened the girls with violence, but also forced them to take drugs if they refused to participate or didn’t perform as directed. Many other problems driven by the commercial sex market have been documented in the county, including the rape, assault, and murder of prostituted women (including the activity of more than one serial rapist and murderer in the area over the past 25 years who specifically targeted prostituted women). A pimp has also been murdered in the county (in Alexandria) while being robbed by MS-13 gang members.

In addition, child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often called “child pornography” in state criminal codes) have also been involved in local prostitution and sex trafficking cases.  For example, in 2021, the Fairfax County Police Department assisted in a case resulting in a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging a local man with sex trafficking of minors, production of “child pornography,” and other commercial sexual exploitation offenses involving young adults. The defendant allegedly exploited and abused underage girls: the 46 year old man was a frequent “commercial sex customer” (i.e., child sexual abuser) of six underage girls and three other young adults from June 2017 through at least August 2020. He had met some of the girls on a “sugar daddy” website and a dating app, and in at least one instance pretended to be an 18 or 19-year-old teenager. The offender lured the girls into commercial sex arrangements, paying them between $500 to $800 each per sexual abuse encounter and offering to pay at least $1,000 for “threesome” sexual activity. In addition to these payments, he gave the girls marijuana and expensive gifts, such as Tiffany’s purses. As alleged in court documents, the man secretly recorded some of the underage girls while he engaged in sexual activity with them. He also continued to engage in commercial sex with some of the girls after they turned 18 years old. After one victim moved out of state, he flew her back to Virginia for holidays and paid her for sex. The man was charged with six counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of production of “child pornography,” one count of transporting a person across state lines for purposes of prostitution, and three counts of coercion and enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.

Residents have complained to police about prostitution in their neighborhoods. Police have addressed such problems by using demand reduction tactics, including reverse sting operations. For example, in August 2013, Fairfax County police arrested 23 men on charges of soliciting prostitution, following an undercover operation executed between 3 and 10 p.m. Police undertook the operation in response to citizen concerns. Officers worked undercover and, after communicating online, met men at four different hotels in Springfield, Falls Church, Herndon and Tysons Corner. The FCPD’s Organized Crime and Narcotics Division (OCN) led the investigation, which was supplemented by patrol officers. News reports do not usually include the identities of the men arrested, but they have been disclosed in press releases by Fairfax County police.

Loss of employment is another consequence of sex buying that has occurred within the county.  For example, in August, 2022, a counselor in Virginia’s largest school system was fired after it was discovered that he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor outside of Fairfax County. In a letter to the school community, the Superintendent said that Fairfax County Public Schools also asked the state to revoke the counselor’s license. The offender had been employed at Glasgow Middle School in Lincolnia. Once the school board became aware of the serious situation at the school,  it took immediate steps to dismiss the employee. The school board asked the Superintendant to provide an “accountability report” that includes a plan to ensure that this would not happen again in the school system.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Employment Loss, Identity Disclosure:

Local Sex Trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation, Related CSAM:

Background on Local Prostitution, Related Violence, Other Crimes:

State Virginia
Type County
Population 1149000
Comments are closed.