Jefferson, WV

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Jefferson is a census-designated place of less than 1,000 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 over a decade.

To address the issue, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office has conducted at least two reverse stings. In November 1999, five johns 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 johns arrested were released by the Sheriff’s Department and printed in a local news outlet.

Key Sources


State West Virginia
Type City
Population 555
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