Mandan is a city on the eastern border of Morton County and is the seventh-largest city in North Dakota. It is situated on the west side of the upper Missouri River, and is designated as the county seat of Morton County. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the 2017 population at about 22,000.
Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Morton County. For example, in 1977 the Mandan Police Department was investigating possible violations of controlled substance laws and noted suspicious activity consistent with prostitution in a club. A subsequent sting operation led to the arrest of two women on prostitution charges. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, in June, 2019 a web-based reverse sting was conducted in Mandan that led to the arrest of three sex buyers, and also led to a substantial meth bust. Burleigh County Sheriff’s officials began a sting with a deputy posing on social media as a prostituted woman. A 49-year-old Mandan man contacted the deputy and made arrangements to meet, where he was arrested. A search of his home netted three pounds of meth in his bedroom closet and $80,000 in cash. The man faces a felony drug charge and a misdemeanor charge of hiring a person to engage in sexual activity. A 39-year-old man and a 71-year-old man were also arrested in the sting. Their identities were included in later news reports.
- Burleigh County Sheriff’s Office
- Morton County Sheriff’s Office
- Mandan Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Sting:
- https://kfgo.com/news/prostitution-sting-leads-to-meth-bust-in-mandan/ (2019)
- https://www.grandforksherald.com/Major-Mandan-meth-bust-result-of-prostitution-sting (2019)
- https://bismarcktribune.com/north-dakota-prostitution-sting-leads-to-meth-bust (2019)
- https://www.kxnet.com/news/local-news/prostitution-sting-leads-to-meth-bust/ (2019)
- https://froggyweb.com/prostitution-sting-leads-to-meth-bust-in-mandan/ (2019)
Reverse Stings, Shaming:
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://bismarcktribune.com/glen-ullin-woman-gets-jail-time-on-prostitution-charge (2012)
- https://www.kfyrtv.com/Mandan-man-pleads-not-guilty-to-sex-assault-of-minor (2019)
- https://bismarcktribune.com/man-faces-prostitution-related-charge-following-police-sting (2019)