Northwood is a city of approximately 5,000 residents, located just outside of Toledo in Wood County, Ohio. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city and surrounding areas. To combat demand for commercial sex, at least three reverse stings have occurred in the city. For example, in February and March 2013, officers from the Northwood Police Department and Wood County Sheriff’s Office, with the support of the Ohio Department of Criminal Identification and Investigation and FBI Human Trafficking Task Force, conducted two web-based stings targeting both sex buyers and prostituted women at Northwood hotels. Ten men were arrested in these operations. Some of the “transactions” were caught on police surveillance tape. Police noted that “information [obtained] from a similar arrest [in Perrysburg Township in February 2013] helped lead to the bust.” Undercover operations began in the area “after complaints of prostitution at a North Baltimore truck stop.” The department took training on stopping prostitution and found out locally, there were many online “escorts” advertised. In 2011 law-enforcement officials started running prostitution solicitation investigations
- Northwood Police Department
- Wood County Sheriff’s Office
- Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation
- FBI Human Trafficking Task Force
- Reverse Stings, Shaming and Cameras:
- “12 Busted on Prostitution, Drug Charges in Northwood Sting”, NBC/WNWO-TV 24, March 20 2013.
- “Dozen Charged in Northwood Prostitution Ring”, Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, March 20 2013.
- “12 Charged with Prostitution, Drugs in Sting in Northwood”, Toledo Blade, March 21 2013.
- “Undercover Operations Yield Arrests”, Millbury Press, March 21 2013.
- “Sandusky Twp. Trustee Cited in Prostitution Case”, Toledo Blade, March 23 2013.
- “3 Prostitution Stings in Wood County Net 21 Suspects”, Toledo Blade, August 21 2013.
- “Prostitution Stings Net 20 Arrests”, Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, August 21 2013.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Northwood Man Held in Teen Prostitute Link”, Toledo Blade, October 21 2006.
- “Man Paid for Sex, Girl Tells Court”, Toledo Blade, May 15 2007.
- “Borderland: Man Gets 14 Years for Sex with 13-Year-Old Prostitute”, Toledo Blade, July 7 2007.
- “Conviction Upheld”, Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, November 3 2008.