Henrico is the name used by local law enforcement and the U.S. Postal Service for several distinct areas in unincorporated parts of Henrico County, Virginia, near the city of Richmond. Cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have occurred in this community. In 2009, local law enforcement began investigating prostitution facilitated through the internet, when Henrico Police conducted stings at least once per month, and each month making approximately five arrests. One sting took place at a Hotel in Henrico’s West End to curb the spread of this problem because it directly impacts the quality of life in the county. In 2015, new laws took effect in Virginia that feature more severe consequences for those who profit from prostitution and sex trafficking, and rehabilitation for women and girls who generate the revenue. The legislation was effective July 1, and increases exposure to penitentiary time, dramatically increasing prison time in cases where a juvenile is involved, incorporates the use of multijurisdictional grand juries, and adds as a crime the mere recruitment of females into the sex trade.
Attempts to curb prostitution in the area include reverse stings. For example, in October 2011 the Henrico Police Vice Unit conducted a prostitution sting along the Glenside Drive and West Broad Street corridor as a part of the ‘Operation 360 – An All Points Crime Initiative.’ Because those individuals arrested for soliciting prostitutes were released on a summons at the time, their photograph and arrest information was not released. However, those that appeared in court had their identities released. In 2014, Henrico Police conducted a street-level reverse sting along the West Broad Street corridor. Police did not release mug shots, but they said the arrests were made at hotels along West Broad Street and Gaskins Road. During the afternoon hours, Detectives had contact with several males at hotels in the area of W. Broad Street and Gaskins Road, as well as Gaskins Road and Mayland Drive. Five men were arrested for prostitution. In 2016 another reverse sting was conducted in Henrico’s West End, as part of a bigger crime sweep resulting in more than 100 people arrested. The prostitution sting happened near the business areas of Glenside and West Broad Street. The other operations happened along Staples Mill and Wistar Road in the West End. Included were nine men arrested for buying sex.
- Henrico County Police Division
Reverse Stings, Shaming:
Background on local prostitution:
Background on local sex trafficking: