Fort Wayne, IN

Tactics Used

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

Fort Wayne is a city of approximately 255,000 residents, located in Allen County, Indiana, about 30 miles from the Ohio border. Reverse stings have been utilized here as a means to catch johns since 1991.  In one of these early stings in 1991, 28 johns were arrested and each held on a $750 bond.  In a later case in 2007, eight more johns were arrested and charged with solicitation.  The police department conducts these types of stings on an ongoing basis throughout the year.  When a john is arrested, if he is in a car, the police take an inventory of the contents of his vehicle and then tow the car.  The john must pay towing and storage fees to get his vehicle back in addition to any fines the court may assess.  Web stings, such as one in 2012 where seven men were arrested,  are another tactic Fort Wayne police use to catch johns.  Tips from the community are another tool police use to help them fight sex trafficking in the area.

In December, 2018 police conducted a web-based reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of three sex buyers. Detectives posted decoy ads on a website with other posts soliciting sex.  In less than two hours, a man was on his way to meet the undercover female officer for sex.  By the end of the 7-hour sting, 12 different men talked to or texted the detectives, three of which showed up at the motel to buy sex.  All three men faced a single Patronizing a Prostitute charge, a Class A misdemeanor, and their identities were included in news releases.

 

Key Partners

  • Fort Wayne Police Department
    • Vice and Narcotics Division
  • Local area motels
  • Community residents

Key Sources

State Indiana
Type City
Population 251247
Location
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