|IT Based Tactics
Houghton is a city of about 8,000 residents located in a remote area of northwestern Michigan. Through 2012, at least one reverse sting had been conducted in the city in an effort to address the demand component of prostitution.
In March 2022, the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office and the U.P. HOST (Human Oppression Strike Team) conducted an operation to identity and arrest persons who committed child sex crimes in the county. The Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office, Baraga County Sheriff’s Office, Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office, Iron River Police Department, and FBI assisted with the investigations. Three men between the ages of 21-34 chatted with undercover police officers posing as minors online, and then showed up at a hotel with payment in exchange to sexually abuse a minor. The three men were arrested and their identities were released to the press. Each was charged with child sexually abusive activity, use of a computer to commit child sexually abusive activity, and accosting a child for immoral purposes. One of the men also faced drug charges.
- Houghton Police Department
- Houghton County Sheriff’s Office
- U.P. HOST (Human Oppression Strike Team)
- Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office
- Baraga County Sheriff’s Office
- Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office
- Iron River Police Department
National Assessment Survey (2012)
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area: