Newton County, MO

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

Newton County has a population of about 59,000 and and is situated in the “Four States” area of southwest Missouri. Prostitution and sex trafficking are known to have occurred in the county, and among the efforts to ameliorate the many resulting problems was one large-scale operation that targeted sex buyers as well as pimps and prostituted women, and identified and rescued sex trafficking victims.

In September 2013, a four-day undercover operation designed to combat sex trafficking and prostitution was conducted in a four-county area encompassing the intersection of four states: southeast Kansas, northwest Oklahoma, northeast Arkansas, and southwest Missouri. “Operation Trojan Horse” was led by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control (OBNDDC), and involved a collaboration of many other agencies, including the sheriff’s departments of Ottawa County in Oklahoma, Rogers County in Arkansas, Cherokee County in Kansas, and Newton County in Missouri. Also participating in the sting/reverse sting were the police department of Miami, Grove, and Tulsa; the Quapaw tribal marshals, Eastern Shawnee and Wyandotte tribal police, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Homeland Security Investigations (Department of Homeland Security).

The OBNDDC said in a news release that efforts were made during the four-day operation to target people engaged in prostitution in various cities and to identify any minors and adults forced into prostitution as a result of human trafficking. Of the people arrested in all four counties, 20 were accused of soliciting prostitution (being a sex buyer). Eleven others were arrested on related misdemeanor offenses in Ottawa County, and were charged with either engaging in or soliciting prostitution.

Also discovered in the investigation and operation was evidence of sex trafficking of four females, including a 15-year-old girl. Eight people were charged with pimping or “aiding and abetting” prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement
  • Divisions Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • Tulsa Police Department
  • Rogers County Sheriff’s Office (Arkansas)
  • Miami Police Department
  • Grove Police Department
  • Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office (Oklahoma)
  • Delaware County District Attorney’s Office
  • Quapaw Tribal Marshal’s
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribal Police
  • Wyandotte Nation Tribal Police
  • Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (Kansas)
  • Newton County Sheriff’s Office (Missouri)
State Missouri
Type County
Population 59386
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