Gwinnett County, GA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Cameras
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
Letters
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Gwinnett County is an area in northern Georgia with a population of roughly 800,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems throughout the county. For example, in April 2014 a Gwinnett County woman was charged with running a brothel from her apartment and forcing women to work as “sex slaves.”  She used online ads to lure customers to her Norcross-area apartment where five women were forced to work seven days a week in prostitution.   An undercover operation conducted in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security led police to the five victims.  The trafficker was charged with five felony counts of sex trafficking, five counts of pimping, and charges related to running a prostitution business.

Among the tactics used to combat such problems are those targeting consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which drives both prostitution and child sex trafficking.  Gwinnett law enforcement agencies routinely conduct street-level and web-based reverse stings using undercover officers in areas known for prostitution. The names of those arrested and details of the operation are released to the public. Georgia law allows for forfeiture of a vehicle, when a person is guilty of the crime of soliciting an act of prostitution for themselves or on behalf of another person.

Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred multiple times within the county.  For example, in June, 2012, a man who served as a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department resigned in lieu of termination after being charged with soliciting a prostituted person in Barrow County. The man was arrested on a pandering charge in May by the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office. He had responded to an ad placed by an undercover Barrow County investigator who was posing as a prostituted woman. He then arrived at a motel where he pursued his intent to buy “a prostitution-related service.” The man did not tell the Barrow deputies that he was a police officer, nor did he report the arrest to his supervisor.  In February, 2017, the Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney was arrested on charges connected with a prostitution bust in Dunwoody the prior month resigned, according to the Gwinnett District Attorney’s Office.

Not all arrests of sex buyers are from sting operations using police decoys. Some are the result of investigations of offenses against real victims, and have resulted in the loss of employment for sex buyers.  In January, 2022, a Norcross police officer was arrested and fired after department officials said he broke his oath and solicited sex from a prostituted woman while in uniform. The Norcross Police Department said they were tipped off by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office after they obtained information that a possible police officer was “pandering for sex with a prostitute” in Norcross. Investigators with the two agencies investigated and obtained evidence of the officer’s sex buying misconduct, along with information revealing he was searching names on a state computer database with “no legal justification to query.” NPD terminated the officer’s employment on Jan. 7, 2021, and prosecutors charged the officer with two counts of GCIC violations, two counts of breaking an oath of office, and two counts of pandering for sex.

Key Partners

  • Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department
  • Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office
  • Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force
  • FBI
    • Atlanta Police Department
    • Marietta Police Department

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Shaming, Vehicle Forfeiture:

Loss of Employment, Shaming:

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 Georgia
Type County
Population 771466
Location
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