|IT Based Tactics
Keizer is a small city in Northwest Oregon of less than 40,000 residents, located immediately north of Salem, OR, and along the Interstate-5 corridor in Marion County, OR. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well documented in this region. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.
In effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex in the city, local law enforcement has conducted at least one web-based reverse sting operation. For example, in 2015, the Keizer Police Department assisted in a web-based reverse sting operation conducted by the FBI, the Salem Police Department, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, that targeted both prostituted persons and sex buyers in Marion County. As a result of the four and a half hour investigation, eight sex buyers were arrested on the charge of patronizing of a prostitute, one individual was arrested for prostitution, and another individual was arrested for prostitution and possession of cocaine. The identities and images of arrested offenders were included in reports by local media outlets.
In addition to reverse sting operations, sex buyers have also been arrested through alternative investigations and as the result of residential reports to local law enforcement. For example, in 2017, Keizer police began investigating a man after they became aware of a prior sexual incident in which the offender had arranged to sexually exploit a 16-year-old girl in exchange for money through Skype. In response to this report, a the Keizer Police Department initiated a web-based reverse sting operation in which an undercover detective posing as a 16-year-old teenage girl online engaged in text and phone conversations with the suspect, culminating in an arranged meeting at a truck stop. According to reports, the offender had solicited the undercover detective for sex acts in exchange for money and marijuana. The man was arrested on charges of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct, purchasing sex from a minor, first-degree online sexual corruption of a minor, and luring a minor. He had gone to the truck stop shortly after midnight and waited in a private shower room to meet what he thought was a 16-year-old girl he’d been texting and paying through PayPal. Detectives found the man in the shower and took him into custody without incident. He was found to have a previous conviction for prostitution in 1997 and had been sentenced to one-year probation. As part of his sentence for the 2017 offense, the man is required to register as a sex offender and attend “John’s School,” structured in Marion County as a diversion program.
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- http://katu.com/10-arrested-in-online-sex-trafficking-sting (2015)
- https://www.statesmanjournal.com/police-arrest-10-sex-trafficking-sting (2015)
- Operation Cross Country XI (2017)
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure, John School: