Logan County is located just north of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and has approximately 46,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in its communities and unincorporated areas, particularly in the rest stops and exits on Interstate 35 corridor that runs North/South through the county. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking, and women in prostitution being targeted by serial killers.
Prostitution and sex trafficking along Oklahoma highways are longstanding problems. For example, the rest stops on I-35 north of the Logan County-Oklahoma County line have been shut down in the past because of problems with prostitution. They were closed in 1981 amid reports of semi-nude women jumping out of trucks, gun-toting pimps shooting each other, and robberies. They later reopened, and starting in August 1982 the gates were closed and locked at night. The rest stops, called “Dolly Park” by truckers because of the number of prostituted women and girls working there, reopened again in December 1985. In 1993, in a three week period the Logan County Sheriff’s Office arrested 27 women at the I-35 rest stops on prostitution complaints. More recently, massage parlor prostitution in the area has been problematic. For example, in 2018 a couple was arrested and held in the Oklahoma County Jail, accused of prostitution and human trafficking out of a massage parlor. Oklahoma City Police led the investigation into the illegal business and received aid from other metro, federal and military law enforcement agencies. The massage parlor on Southeast 29th Street in Del City was shut down after an eight-month investigation into the alleged prostitution and human trafficking coordinated out of the massage parlor. The owner was from Thailand and provided Thai girls to come over and work in prostitution.
To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. The Logan County and Kay County Sheriff’s Offices announced their intention to begin impounding trucks at the I-35 rest stops in Logan County in 1993, after recently finding a state law that allows them to impound the truck and arrest the drivers that solicit prostitution. At the time, it was estimated to cost $150 to $200 to retrieve a truck from impound. The Kay County Undersheriff said 10 trucks were impounded after the drivers were arrested on complaints of soliciting undercover female sheriffs’ deputies in the I-35 rest areas near State Highway 11 and Blackwell.
Oklahoma law prohibits people from engaging in prostitution under 21 O.S. 1029, which addresses both prostitution and solicitation of prostitution in the same manner under the same statute. Both prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors. The penalties for prostitution and solicitation include a jail term of 30 days to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 on the first offense. The fines increase with subsequent convictions, and the court may also mandate 40 to 80 hours of community service.
- Logan County Sheriff’s Office
- Kay County Sheriff’s Office
- Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office
- Oklahoma City Police
Reverse Sting, Vehicle Seizure, Community Service:
- https://newsok.com/article/2436241/i-35-truckers-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (1993)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking at Oklahoma Rest Stops:
- https://newsok.com/article/2441139/prostitutes-haunt-truck-stops-look-at-drivers-world-reveals-sex-drugs (1993)
- http://www.newson6.com/story/prostitution-sting-at-several-tulsa-truck-stops (2008)
- https://www.enidnews.com/news/local_news/a-darker-side-speaker-shares-stats-about-human-trafficking (2011)
General Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Local Area:
- http://www.johntv.com/blog/2018/jason-strickland-sentenced (2015)
- http://www.johntv.com/blog/2016/6/30/nelson-laughlin-johnson-arrest (2016)
- https://okcfox.com/news/local/two-arrested-for-human-trafficking-following-prostitution-arrests (2017)
- https://okcfox.com/news/local/more-than-20-arrested-in-oklahoma-city-during-nationwide-sex-trafficking-bust (2017)
- http://www.news9.com/story/metro-couple-jailed-accused-of-prostitution-and-human-trafficking (2018)
- https://okcfox.com/news/local/husband-wife-arrested-for-prostitution-at-massage-parlor (2018)
Serial Killers Targeting Prostituted Women in the Area:
- https://tdn.com/news/serial-killer-suspected-in-prostitutes-slayings/article_3c38b2a5-fc2d-5cfc-87d7-2a7e78f4a033.html (2004)
- https://newsok.com/article/3894371/suspect-in-prostitutes-death-planned-killing-logan-county-investigators-report-in-court-records (2013)
- https://newsok.com/article/3894121/suspect-in-prostitutes-death-planned-killing-logan-county-investigators-report-in-court-records (2013)
- https://okcfox.com/archive/disturbing-information-about-logan-county-murder-suspect-released (2013)