Hyannis, MA

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

Hyannis is a village of approximately 14,000 residents, located on Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts.  Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the town and surrounding communities on Cape Cod.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses, and among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include sex trafficking.  For example, in 2009, police responded to about 30 online listings in the “erotic services” section of Craigslist for the Cape and Islands. Eight women came to meet an undercover officer at the hotel on Route 132 in Hyannis. All allegedly agreed to have sex with the officer and accepted money in exchange. The women, ranging in age from 20 to 59, from as far away as Providence and as close as Winter Street in Hyannis, were all charged with prostitution and arraigned over the next several days in Barnstable District Court.The price the women asked for their services ranged from $200 to $600, police said. Throughout the three days that police conducted the sting operation, three men were also arrested.

In February 2018 a man who trafficked women for sex in Greater Boston and on Cape Cod was sentenced to six years in state prison, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office.  The offender recruited women to provide commercial sexual services in hotels and other locations in Randolph, Boston, Braintree and Hyannis. He had the women post ads online, including on Backpage.com, offering sexual services in exchange for money. He would then keep the money and instead provide the women with drugs, mainly heroin. In a separate case in February 2018, the owners of a spa on Waquoit Highway in Falmouth were arrested for allegedly running a prostitution operation out of the business. A similar warrant was executed at the same establishment in September, 2017, resulting in one of the owners being charged with several sex trafficking offenses.  In April 2018 a man was arrested and charged in Orleans District Court with prostitution, sexual trafficking and assault involving three women he allegedly brought to Cape Cod to have sex with a Dennis man. Dennis police, Randolph police and state police learned that the man was allegedly involved in commercial sex trafficking when three women told police they were brought to a home in Dennis at various times and had sex with the homeowner in exchange for money. At one point, one of the women had been sexually by the pimp in front of the homeowner and one of the women told police the pimp had assaulted her and threatened the victim with a gun, which she had previously seen in his home. The pimp had used Backpage.com to post ads for sex and was able to communicate with “customers” using a program that disguised his phone number while texting.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking.  To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the local police have conducted street-level and web-based reverse stings, some in response to community complaints.  For example, in March, 2017 , nine men were arrested during a joint prostitution sting in Hyannis conducted by local and state police.  All nine men were charged with one count of paying for sexual conduct. One of the men was fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 15 hours of community service, and forfeit $100 he allegedly gave to undercover officers during the sting.  Another man arrested during the operation had a warrant issued for his arrest after failing to appear for a court hearing at Barnstable District Court.

Key Partners

  • Barnstable Police Department
  • Massachusetts State Police
State Massachusetts
Type City
Population 14089
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