Kalispell, MT

Tactics Used

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

Kalispell is a city in Flathead County, Montana, located across the Canadian border from British Columbia in northwest Montana. Cases of prostitution, including the forced prostitution and sexual exploitation of minors, have been reported in the city, and throughout the county. In 2005, for example, a county businessman was convicted of “luring an impoverished girl and her best friend, ages 16 and 15, to a Kalispell apartment building, then molesting them and performing oral sex on them against their will” in exchange for “several thousand dollars.”

In response, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has conducted periodic web stings targeting adults attempting to solicit sex from minors. The FCSO often collaborates with the Montana Internet Crimes against Children Taskforce and local police departments. For example, in August 2014, FCSO deputies teamed with the Taskforce and officers from the Missoula Police Department in an anti-child prostitution investigation. During the operation, officers arrested at least six johns from “the Kalispell area” and another from Missoula. Although the details of the sting were not immediately disclosed, members of the local media reported that at least one of the johns was arrested after he contacted law enforcement to purchase sex from “a 13-year-old girl through a detective posing as her mother.” The man allegedly placed “a series of calls and text messages, [and] arranged to meet either a 10-year-old girl or a 15-year-old girl in exchange for a ‘donation.’ [He] stated he didn’t know which one he wanted because he wanted to see them first.” Following his arrest, the names of some of the johns were released to the public.

In 2017, seven men received misdemeanor citations for responding to a fake online advertisement for prostitutes in northwestern Montana. The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office ran the ad on April 17 and 18 and received 145 emails and 60 text messages. Seven men arranged to meet a woman and were cited when they showed up at a local motel. The operation was a combined effort by the Sheriff’s Office, Kalispell police, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Northwest Drug Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations. The names of those cited were not released.

Key Partners

  • Kalispell Police Department
  • Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
  • Montana Internet Crimes against Children Taskforce
  • Missoula Police Department

Key Sources

 

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

 

State Montana
Type City
Population 23212
Location
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