|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Marion is a city of approximately 42,000 residents, located northeast of Cedar Rapids in Linn County, Iowa. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city, surrounding communities, and in other areas of the county. This activity, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result 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. To combat demand the Marion Police Department conducted at least two web stings targeting sex buyers. The first operation, undertaken in late 2011 in collaboration with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, netted nine sex buyers. In June 2012, MPD officers coordinated efforts with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and a number of neighboring PDs to conduct a large-scale, countywide web sting resulting in the arrest of 37 local men. In both instances, law enforcement posted decoy listings of a “sexually suggestive nature” to an undisclosed website known for prostitution activity. As men responded to the listings, an undercover female officer arranged to meet them at a local hotel. When they arrived and attempted to purchase sex from the officer, they were arrested by a backup team. All arrestees’ names and other identifying information were released to the media.
- “Pastor, Eight Others Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, ABC/KCRG-TV 9, October 17 2011.
- “Church Members Want Pastor Caught in Prostitution Sting Back”, ABC/KCRG-TV 9, October 25 2011.
- “More Stings to Follow Marion Prostitution Arrests?”, Marion Patch, November 1 2011.
- “Sheriff: Linn Prostitution Arrests Began with Earlier Sting in Coralville”, Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 22 2012.
- “Marion Hotel Part of Prostitution Sting That Leads to 30-Plus Arrests”, Marion Patch, June 23 2012.
- “Did Marion Police Use Craigslist to Uncover Sex Trafficking”, Marion Patch, June 25 2012.
- “‘Johns’ Arrested After Taking Kids to Visits with Prostitutes, Police Say”, Marion Patch, June 29 2012.
- “Four Involved in Marion, Cedar Rapids Prostitution Sting Plead Guilty”, Marion Patch, September 20 2012.
- “Man Arrested for Trying to Trade Sex for Boat Trailer”, Radio Iowa, March 11 2014.
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “3 Netted in Marion Prostitution Sting”, Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 14 1992.
- “2 Arrested in Marion During Prostitution Sting”, Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 12 1993.
- “4 Arrested for Prostitution at Marion Massage Parlors”, Marion Patch, October 20 2012.
- “Marion to Discuss Revoking License of Massage Parlor After Prostitution Arrests”, Marion Patch, October 27 2012.
- “Human Trafficking Investigation Follows Marion Massage Parlor Prostitution Arrests– Rewind”, Marion Patch, November 4 2012.
Comments are closed.