Mobile, AL

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Mobile is a port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. It is the county seat of Montgomery County, AL and, with a population of roughly 185,000 residents, it is the third most populous city in the state of Alabama. Numerous problems have been linked to prostitution locally, including sex trafficking of children, and the rape, assault, and murder of prostituted women. At least has been shot by a sex buyer in Mobile. Among the ways in which city has taken action to address the wide range of crimes inevitably arising from commercial sex activity has been attempts to reduce the demand for commercial sex and prostitution. For example, in 1997, media outlets reported that the Mobile Police Department had sent warning letters to vehicle owners seen idling in high “stroll” areas. We do not know if this type of “dear john letter” tactic is still used.

In an effort to reduce the demand for prostitution, the Mobile Police Department conducts periodic street-level reverse stings. The names of those arrested are released to the media. For example, in January of 2013, officials conducted a citywide prostitution crackdown that resulted in the arrest of 10 sex buyers, whose identities, photos, ages, and charges were released by local news sources. A similar reverse sting street-level operation in October of 2018 conducted by the Mobile Police Department Narcotics and Vice Unit, in attempts to curtail prostitution and the issues that occur with prostitution such as drugs and violence, resulted in the arrest of 19 sex buyers. Of the individuals arrested, 17 men were charged with patronizing a prostitute and two men face loitering for the purpose of prostitution charges, both misdemeanor charges. The identities, photos, ages, charges, and locations of arrested offenders were released by local news sources. In June of 2019, the Mobile Police Department Narcotics and Vice Unit arrested 14 offenders on various charges during “Operation Supply and Demand,” a street-level reverse sting conducted at multiple locations across the city.

In addition to street-level reverse sting operations, the Mobile Police Department Narcotics and Vice Unit has also conducted web-based reverse stings such as one operation conducted in March of 2016 called, “Backpage Prostitution Operation,” where officers made 13 prostitution arrests at various hotels in the Beltline area. In 2019, Mobile Police Department conducted a web-based reverse sting where officers posed as prostituted online to set up various exchanges with potential sex buyers. As a result, “Operation Snag” resulted in the arrest of 16 individuals total, 8 of which were alleged sex buyers on charges of either soliciting prostitution and/or patronizing a prostitute.

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:


Background on Sex Trafficking, Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Alabama
Type City
Population 184592
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