Freeport, ME

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

Freeport is a city of about 7,900 residents, located in Cumberland County, about 20 miles north of Portland, Maine.  The commercial district along Route 1 and waterfront tourism provide flows of visitors that boost the potential “customer” base for prostitution far beyond the local resident population. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well documented problems in the city, and surrounding area of the county.

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. Reverse stings have been used in the city of Freeport to curtail demand.  For example, in May 2015  five men were arrested and charged with engaging a prostitute after an operation by local police and other law enforcement agencies.

A reverse sting in March 2017 at Route 1 motel led to the arrests of 11 men on charges of soliciting prostitution.  Ten of the men were Maine residents.  Freeport police worked with neighboring police agencies to conduct the sting.  Participating police departments included Yarmouth, South Portland, Gorham, Auburn and Windham, plus the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department and members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. The alleged sex buyers were arrested when police determined that there was probable cause to believe they had agreed to exchange money for a sex act with an undercover police officer.  The identities of the arrested buyers were publicly disclosed in both the 2015 and 2017 operations.

Key Partners

  • Freeport Police Department
  • Yarmouth Police Department
  • South Portland Police Department
  • Gorham Police Department
  • Auburn Police Department
  • Windham Police Department
  • Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department
  • FBI Safe Streets Task Force

Key Sources

Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State Maine
Type City
Population 7897
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