McCracken County, KY

Tactics Used

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

Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in McCracken County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates produce complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents within the county. For example, in March 2019, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department initiated an investigation into local prostitution complaints about online ads. Undercover detectives made agreements with two people believed to be prostitutes placing ads online. Detectives made contact with one suspect from Paducah at a local motel, who was found in possession of a crack cocaine and a smoking pipe and was arrested. A second suspect was found staying at the same motel, and found in possession of methamphetamine, crack cocaine and items of drug paraphernalia, and was on felony probation at the time her arrest.

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. In September 2014, the sheriff’s offices of McCracken and Marshall Counties conducted a two day operation that focused on both buyers and sellers in prostitution.  The sheriff’s office posted an ad for commercial sex services on a common website, and within thirty minutes of the ad being posted, a detective acting in an undercover capacity began receiving phone calls and texts from individuals wishing to pay for sex.  Around four hours later, eight men were arrested for soliciting prostitution and other offenses.  Several men arrived at the location with weapons, one arrived with a loaded firearm in his pocket. Setectives arrested four men who arranged to pay an undercover detective for sex acts. Detectives seized cash intended for use to pay for sex and or proceeds of sex acts, marijuana, condoms, sex toys and cell phones from those that entered into an agreement for a sex act for money.  The identities of the 13 arrested sex buyers were publicly released.

In January, 2019, seventeen people were arrested in a prostitution bust conducted in the Paducah area, drawing sex buyers from a much wider area including other states. McCracken County investigators had received complaints about local online ads for prostitution on adult websites. Undercover detectives placed ads and responded to ads from January 14 through 17, and made agreements with persons believed to be prostitutes placing the ads, as well as those that responded to ads placed by detectives during the investigation.



Key Partners

  • McCracken County Sheriff’s Office
  • Marshall County Sheriff’s Office
State Kentucky
Type County
Population 65018
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