Hamburg, PA

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

Hamburg is a borough in Berks County, PA with a population of approximately 4,300 residents. Although prostitution and sex trafficking activity is limited within the borough of Hamburg, it has been well-documented throughout the county. Among the more serious issues associated with the commercial sex market in the area is sex trafficking. For example, in July of 2021, a long term investigation into a sex trafficking ring culminated in the arrest of three individuals on numerous charges such as corrupt organizations, trafficking individuals, prostitution, and other related offenses. A tip to the Pennsylvania State Police Organized Crime Unit helped investigators develop several leads and to identify multiple victims starting in early 2020. A total of six female victims were rescued as a result of the investigation. In May of 2021, a grand jury was formed to review the investigation. It concluded that three suspects operated a corrupt organization involving human trafficking of young women for the commercial sex trade. One was responsible for posting advertisements and communicating with sex buyers while two others utilized drugs to lure some of the victims into prostitution, and subsequently as a means of control. In addition, anytime sex buyers exchanged money for sexual acts from the female victims, all payments were directly allocated to the sex traffickers. Among the charges the traffickers faced were:

  • Corrupt Organizations (Felony 1)
  • Trafficking in Individuals (F1)
  • Criminal Attempt-Trafficking in Individuals (F1)
  • Criminal Conspiracy-Trafficking in Individuals (F1)
  • Involuntary Servitude (F1)
  • Criminal Attempt-Involuntary Servitude (F1)
  • Criminal Conspiracy-Involuntary Servitude (F1)
  • Prostitution and Related Offenses (F3)
  • Criminal Attempt-Prostitution and Related Offenses (F3)
  • Criminal Conspiracy-Promoting Prostitution (F3)
  • Criminal Use of Communication Facility (F3)
  • Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession with Intent to Deliver or Manufacture of a Controlled Substance (F1)
  • Simple Assault (Misdemeanor 2)

Shaming and loss of employment are consequence of buying sex that have occurred within the city. For example, in November of 2016, a Hamburg Area High School guidance counselor was among 17 alleged sex buyers and prostituted women arrested and charged with prostitution related offenses during a sting operation conducted by the Sugarloaf Township Police Department. The Hamburg Area School District Superintendent sought and accepted the sex buyer’s letter of resignation two weeks after the man’s arrest.

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 4356
Comments are closed.