Fort Payne, 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

Fort Payne is a city of about 14,000 residents in northeastern Alabama, located almost 70 miles southeast of Huntsville. It is the county seat of DeKalb County. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the county and surrounding areas, resulting in complaints to law enforcement. For example, a DeKalb County man was convicted in March 2022 on several charges including conspiracy to commit human trafficking, first degree sodomy, 20 counts of possession of obscene matter depicting a minor, and various drug charges after a confidential informant reported in 2017 that the man was planning to buy or kidnap a young girl to keep locked in his home for sexual purposes. Further investigation revealed he had sexually abused a girl under the age of 12.

At least one sex buyer arrest has occurred in the city, along with identity disclosure and employment loss. In March 2022, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office arrested a high school teacher in Fort Payne after he allegedly hired someone from Huntsville to drive to his residence for sex. Police had received some complaints about suspicious activity in the man’s neighborhood and law enforcement surveillance observed the vehicle arriving from Huntsville. The man was charged with one count of “solicitation of a prostitute” and one count of engaging in prostitution. His identity was released to the press and on social media. He taught anatomy at Fort Payne High School but was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The following day, the Fort Payne City Schools Superintendent released a statement that said the Fort Payne Board of Education held an emergency meeting and accepted the man’s resignation.

Key Partners

  • DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office
  • Fort Payne High School
  • Fort Payne City Schools Superintendent
  • Fort Payne Board of Education
State Alabama
Type City
Population 14063
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