Hanover Township, 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

Hanover Township is a township of approximately 11,000 residents, located near Bethlehem in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Though a fairly small community, residents and local law enforcement have reported an increase in prostitution activity since roughly 2010. Notably, the Colonial Regional Police Department received complaints about prostitution occurring in at least seven hotels in the township between 2010 and 2011.  Cases of sex trafficking of children have also occurred in the community.  In response, the CRPD collaborated with the Bethlehem Township Police Department to conduct a web sting targeting sex buyers in February 2012. The operation was the first of its kind in the township, though police had conducted five prior web stings targeting prostituted women.

In their efforts, police posted a decoy advertisement online and arranged to meet those who responded to the listing at a local hotel.  In just under six hours, five male sex buyers were arrested. In December 2012, a second sting was conducted with similar success– eight men were arrested. In April 2013, the CRPD conducted a “combination” web sting, resulting in the arrest of 10 male sex buyers and six prostituted women. In the days after each operation, arrestees’ names and other identifying information were publicized in local media outlets.  In June 2013, a man was arrested for soliciting an undercover officer; it is not clear whether this occurred during a reverse sting, or whether the undercover officer was not a prostitution decoy and this was an opportunistic arrest.

In February, 2022, state police placed ads online offering sex and sex acts in exchange for money. People who responded to the ad were directed to a room at a hotel in Hanover Township. One of the men arrested was the chief of Diamond Fire Co. in Walnutport, PA, who offered to pay an undercover trooper for sex and was charged with patronizing prostitution. According to court documents, Troopers said that the evening of Feb. 17, the man went to the room, met the undercover trooper, and during a recorded conversation, agreed to pay $80 for sex. Troopers arrested the man, searched his cellphone, and allegedly found text messages between him and the undercover trooper. The man’s identity was included in news reports.

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 10870
Comments are closed.