Marion, IA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Marion is a city of approximately 27,000 residents, located northeast of Cedar Rapids in Linn County, Iowa. Prostitution and sex trafficking of teens are well-established problems in the city.  To reduce prostitution activity, the Marion Police Department has 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 9 johns. 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.

Key Sources

State Iowa
Type City
Population 34768
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