Johnston, RI

Tactics Used

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

Johnston is a town in Rhode Island with a population of about 28,000, located just west of Providence. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been reported in the town for several years; cases of prostitution-related homicide have also been documented.

Among their efforts to reduce commercial sex sales in the community, the Johnston Police Department has conducted periodic reverse stings targeting johns since at least 2000, if not earlier. Although the logistical details of these operations are not typically disclosed, Johnston Police have on occasion released arrestees’ names and other identifying information to the public.


Key Partners

  • Rhode Island State Police
  • Providence State Police
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Key Sources

  • Reverse Stings with Shaming:
    • “Five Arrested at Motel on Charges Tied to Prostitution,” Providence Journal, April 26 2000.
    • “Johnston Police Arrest Five on Prostitution Counts,” Providence Journal, April 26 2000.
    • “Crime – 14 Nabbed for Prostitution under New Law,” Providence Journal, December 12 2009.
  • Sex Trafficking in the Area:
    • “Man Charged with Pandering of Daughter, 24,” Providence Journal, August 12 1999.
  • Background on Prostitution in the Area:
    • “2 Charged with Prostitution in Johnston,” Providence Journal, April 26 1994.
    • “Woman Guilty of Loitering for Prostitution,” Providence Journal, June 15 2001.
  • Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
    • “Police Checking for Possible Link in the Slayings of Three Women; Strangulation Victims Found in Northern R.I. in Past Four Months,” Providence Journal, March 22 1991.
    • “Police Identify Slaying Victim; Will Examine Parallels to Killings of 3 Women Linked to Prostitution,” Providence Journal, August 4 1991.
State Rhode Island
Type City
Population 28769
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