Jefferson, 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

Jefferson is a census-designated place of less than 750 residents, located 10 miles west of Charleston in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Centered along a strip of U.S. Route 60, the community has reported problems with chronic prostitution in and around its many adult-oriented businesses for decades, including multiple homicides.

To address the wide range of crimes and other problems arising from the local sex trade, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office has conducted two reverse stings in Jefferson. In November 1999, five male sex bueyrs were arrested in Jefferson after soliciting a female KCSO officer working undercover as a decoy. In September 2007, the KCSO conducted an anti-prostitution investigation after officers responded to complaints by residents about conspicuous street prostitution in a “hot spot” of the town near several strip clubs. Officers then initiated a two-part operation, one focusing on arresting women serving as prostitutes (resulting in 9 arrests), and the targeting sex buyers (resulting in 39 arrests over several days). During the operation, the KCSO also recovered firearms, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, and arrested a fugitive from out of state wanted on drug charges. Following both stings, the identities of the sex buyers arrested were released by the Sheriff’s Department and printed in a local news outlet.

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State West Virginia
Type City
Population 718
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