Greenwood Village, CO

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

Greenwood Village is a municipality of about 15,000 residents located in Arapahoe County, the third-most populous county in Colorado. Prostitution and sex trafficking in the city and throughout the Arapahoe County area have been well-documented. Among the more serious issues associated with the city’s commercial sex market is the sex trafficking of adults and minors. For example, in 2020, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office assisted in an investigation into an interstate prostitution ring operating out of the Denver Tech Center. According to reports, the couple had generated over $700,000 in revenue over a period of 20 months. The couple would post ads on websites known for prostitution and sex trafficking and then transport women to Denver and sex traffic them in exchange for money. In 2021, the couple was sentenced on numerous felony sex trafficking-related charges. The female offender was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and the male offender was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. The couple was sentenced as a result of their guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to facilitate prostitution, two counts of facilitating prostitution, and three counts of transporting an individual to engage in prostitution. The male sex trafficker also pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering and was ordered to pay an assessment to a victims’ fund of $15,000. Both defendants’ sentences would be followed by five-year terms of supervised release. Both defendants were also forfeiting more than $390,000 in funds, two vehicles, 20 watches, and were subject to a money judgment in the amount of $700,000, because the defendants stipulated that their conspiracy earned at least $700,000.

Among the efforts to address problems associated with the local commercial sex market have been operations designed to combat consumer-level demand. For example, in 2013, the Greenwood Village Police Department participated in the FBI’s annual investigation, Operation Cross Country VII, a three-day enforcement action to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the United States. The operation consisted of the FBI, its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The operation included enforcement actions in 76 cities across 47 FBI divisions nationwide and led to the recovery of more than 105 child sex trafficking victims and the arrest of 150 sex traffickers/pimps on state and federal charges. In Colorado/Wyoming, the operation resulted in the recovery of nine child sex trafficking victims, identification of 11 and arrest of six sex traffickers/pimps, citation/arrest of 51 adults on prostitution charges, arrest of 25 male sex buyers, six additional adult arrests, and the impoundment/seizure of 20 vehicles. In addition, police have been known to release the identities and images of arrested sex buyers as well as using audio and video surveillance during interactions between suspected sex buyers and undercover policewomen.

In July 2021, Greenwood Village (GV) passed an ordinance allowing for, and regulating, the seizure and impoundment of vehicles used while committing the crime of prostitution. The ordinance allows the (GV) municipal court to order the forfeiture of vehicles used in six different types of crime, including prostitution and human trafficking. The law allows the GV city attorney’s office to bring a restraining order before the GV municipal court for impoundment of a vehicle for between 30 days and one year. No district or county court outside the City of Greenwood Village is involved in this process. The action is considered “civil and remedial,” and “all issues of fact and law shall be tried to the Municipal Court without a jury.” There is no requirement that anyone who used the vehicle in committing the named offense need be convicted of that offense or any other infraction for the restraining order on the vehicle to be issued. An action filed by the GV city attorney for a temporary restraining order (TRO) for the offending vehicle must be accompanied by a written verified complaint. The summons, complaint, and temporary restraining order must be sent by first-class United States mail to the owner of the vehicle at the address on file with the state Division of Motor Vehicles. Any lien holder must also be notified by mail. Alternatively, the summons, complaint ,and temporary restraining order shall be deemed served by impoundment or detention of the motor vehicle. The law provides opportunities for a vehicle owner who had no knowledge that the vehicle was being used as a public nuisance, or who was using all reasonable efforts to abate the vehicular nuisance activities, and it is expected that those efforts are likely to abate the vehicular nuisance activities, to avoid having his or her vehicle confiscated. In that situation, the owner can make their case and if they are successful in doing so, enter into a stipulation with the city to have the restraining order stayed. If a vehicle is found to be a public nuisance and has not already been impounded, this process would require the owner’s cooperation to voluntarily relinquish it to the city. The law requires that defendants turn over the vehicle, the title, and the car keys. If they decide not to comply, the city may apply its contempt of court powers, and the GV municipal court judge has the ability to sentence a person to 180 days in jail and impose a fine of $2,650. After a vehicle is detained, the owner can request and receive a hearing and/or trial on the merits of the complaint in the GV municipal court, which would decide if the vehicle should continue to be detained or returned to the owner. A nuisance vehicle can be released upon payment of all towing fees, storage fees, and all actual expenses incurred by the city, plus a civil judgment of $500. The GV municipal court can reduce the impoundment and storage fees if it determines that they exceed the fair market value of the vehicle. If the owner doesn’t respond to the letter by paying the fees and costs assessed to get the vehicle back, or by seeking a reduction in the amount owed, the vehicle will be deemed to have been abandoned, and will be disposed of.  The city council vote for this ordinance was unanimous in favor of passage.

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Cameras, Identity Disclosure:

Vehicle Seizure and Forfeiture:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Colorado
Type City
Population 15495
Comments are closed.