Holtsville is a hamlet of approximately 18,000 residents, located on Long Island in New York. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the town and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Suffolk County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions. For example, in 2018, five alleged gang members were arrested on Long Island for allegedly running a prostitution ring that operated throughout Suffolk County, in Medford, Ronkonkoma, Holtsville, Shirley, Coram, and other areas. Suffolk County Police said that the suspects prostituted women in hotels, motels and private homes, and sought vulnerable young women and girls who were addicted to drugs, with the men using the lure of drugs to keep them in line. The defendants are facing a 44-count indictment.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. To combat the array of problems stemming from commercial sex, local law enforcement agencies have conducted periodic reverse stings. For example, following the raid of a massage parlor in November 2009, Suffolk County Police replaced the brothel staff with female officers deployed as decoys. Four men were arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer. The ages and hometowns of the arrested johns were released to the media.
Background on Local Sex Trafficking:
- https://patch.com/new-york/patchogue/scary-pimp-in-local-prostitution-ring-outlines-rules-5227271ca6 (2012)
- https://abc7ny.com/5-men-arrested-for-allegedly-running-prostitution-ring-on-li/3280323/ (2018)
- http://longisland.news12.com/story/37841736/da-sini-5-alleged-bloods-indicted-in-sex-trafficking-ring (2018)
- https://www.nbcnewyork.com/Man-Ran-Prostitution-Ring-Out-of-Parents-Basement-DA-New-York-Suffolk-County (2019)