Ontario, NY

Tactics Used

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

Ontario is a city in the northwest corner of Wayne County, in upstate New York. Its population is roughly 10,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. In April, 2017, six men were arrested in a web-based reverse sting at a motel in Ontario, that used a real ad posted by a prostituted women and then recruited her as a confidential informant to arrange meetings with the men responding to her ad. Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies received a tip from a person in Ontario about suspicious activity in the area of a motel on Rt. 104. Deputies found an ad on Backpage.com, which advertised a woman offering sex for money in the Ontario area. Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies, collaborating with WayneNET and the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, set up a meeting with the woman, who was a heroin addict and told deputies she needed money for drugs. After being referred to substance abuse counseling services, the woman agreed to help deputies arrest people who answered the ad posted online.  Six men who answered the ad were arrested and charged with patronizing a person for prostitution in the 3rd degree. The names, ages, and home towns of the six arrested sex buyers were included in news releases. Each was issued an appearance ticket and was scheduled to appear in the Town of Ontario Justice Court.

In February, 2018 a joint prostitution investigation conducted by the Canandaigua Police Department and the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department resulted in the arrest of two men, who were accused of coming to the area for the purpose of having sex with a prostitute in exchange for money.  As one was being arrested he fled on foot and physically resisted officers once he was taken into custody. Both men were charged with patronizing a prostitute, with one facing an additional charge of resisting arrest.


Key Partners

  • Wayne County Sheriff’s Office
  • WayneNET
  • Town of Ontario Justice Court
  • Seneca County Sheriff’s Office
State New York
Type City
Population 10064
Comments are closed.