Occoquan, VA

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

Occoquan is a town in Prince William County, Virginia, with a population of just over 1,000. The town is a suburb of Washington, D.C. and is adjacent to Woodbridge. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas for over 100 years. For example, a local prison built in the city was originally called the Occoquan Workhouse, built in 1910 as an “industrial farm” that was an experiment in prison reform designed to test the use of hard manual labor as an appropriate rehabilitation method for medium security prisoners. Soon after, in 1912, a women’s workhouse opened nearby, housing inmates charged with prostitution, disorderly conduct, or drunkenness. The women oversaw laundry and performed other labors around the prison grounds as they served their sentences. Prostitution as sex trafficking are also very well documented throughout Prince William County.  For example, in 2018, a husband and wife pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in operating a long-running interstate prostitution ring based in nearby Haymarket. They each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce individuals to travel in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and their co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty to the same charges. From at least 2013 until March 2018 when they were arrested, the defendants operated an interstate prostitution network with multiple brothels in high-end apartments.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has been targeted by local agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. A law enforcement respondent to the 2021 National Assessment Survey reported that demand reduction tactics have been implemented in Occoquan, including surveillance or other cameras used since 2020 to deter sex buyers or gather evidence of their crimes.

Key Partners

  • Occoquan Police Department
State Virginia
Type City
Population 1038
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