Ketchikan, 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

Ketchikan is an Alaskan city of about 8,000 residents in Ketchikan Gateway Borough. It is located along the Inside Passage, a popular cruise route along the state’s southeastern coast. Ketchikan is known as the “First City” of Alaska because it is the first city you arrive at while taking the inside passage north. For this reason, Ketchikan was a popular stop for all travelers. In the 1920s, the small town was home to a red light district of more than 20 brothels, making prostitution one of its top local industries. The brothels in Ketchikan operated legally until 1954. The most famous of them – Dolly’s House – still stands today at Number 24 Creek Street. It is presented as a tribute to the “colorful” past of the gold rush, trappers, and prohibition rather than as a history of women who were exploited through sex trafficking and commercial sex. Prostitution and sex trafficking still exist in Ketchikan today.

Among the local efforts to combat such problems is the arrest of sex buyers. In one operation, conducted in May 2020, Alaska State Troopers responded to a disturbance call from a residence in Ketchikan. The investigation revealed that the 63-year-old male who called in the complaint was upset because a 56-year-old female had absconded with his $100 instead of performing sexual acts as they had agreed. The female was contacted later and agreed to return the man’s money. Charges of prostitution were forwarded to the District Attorney’s office on both parties. Their identities were not publicly revealed.

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrest:

Background on Local Prostitution:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in Alaska:

Ketchikan Prostitution Ordinance:

State Alaska
Type City
Population 8228
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