Kenai, AK

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

Kenai is a coastal Alaskan city, located about three hours southwest of Anchorage, in Kenai Peninsula Borough. It sits at the mouth of the Kenai River and is home to less than 10,000 residents. Despite its relatively small size, Kenai has served as the operating base for at least one sex trafficking ring. In 2012, the Kenai Police Department responded to a tip from the Anchorage Police Department regarding an online advertisement suggesting prostitution may be occurring at a local massage parlor.

After a preliminary investigation, enough evidence was compiled to apply for and obtain a search warrant for the business. Kenai police officers went undercover to discover that massage parlor employees were offering sex acts in exchange for money. In November 2013, the business owner, a 50-year-old female, was found guilty on two counts of second-degree sex trafficking for running an enterprise and procuring customers and three counts of third-degree sex trafficking for running a place of prostitution, accepting proceeds, and facilitating prostitution. She was sentenced to three years in prison.

In an effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in Kenai, police have targeted sex buyers. In the year following the arrest of the massage parlor owner, the Kenai police department, in a joint press release with the Alaska Department of Law, announced their decision to charge seven sex buyers from the massage parlor with “engaging in prostitution”. Although the logistical details regarding how and when the men were identified were not disclosed, each of the offenders’ names, ages, hometowns, and charges were publicized in local media outlets. Under Alaskan state law, engaging in prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor. Each defendant faced a maximum 90 days in jail and fine of up to $2,000 if convicted.

State Alaska
Type City
Population 7742
Comments are closed.