Harrison County, WV

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

Harrison County is a rural area in northern West Virginia. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

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. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include reverse stings, and the disclosure of sex buyer identities, and employment loss. In November 2013, two men traveled to the county to buy access to sexually abuse a 16 year old girl.  The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and Cadiz Police Department collaborated on an investigation and then a reverse sting operation.  The names and ages of the two men were released to the media. In 2016, police conducted a reverse sting and arrested six men, each accused of soliciting prostitution from vehicles in downtown Clarksburg. Female undercover officers were used in the sting. The Harrison County Magistrate set a $1,000 cash bond for each defendant, and informed the men of their requirement to obtain HIV testing and related counseling as part of their bond condition. The reverse sting was aimed at curbing prostitution in Downtown Clarksburg area by taking away the demand for commercial sex. The Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Drug Task Force, Clarksburg Police, Fairmont Police, the Three Rivers Drug Task Force, and the Mountaineer Highway Interdiction Team South participated in the operation.

Key Partners

  • Harrison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Cadiz Police Department
  • Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Drug Task Force
  • Clarksburg Police
  • Fairmont Police
  • Three Rivers Drug Task Force
  • Mountaineer Highway Interdiction Team South
State West Virginia
Type County
Population 65158
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