Ontario, NY

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

Ontario is a city in the northwest corner of Wayne County in upstate New York. Its population is approximately 10,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity has 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 result 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. The sting utilized an actual ad posted by a prostituted woman. The police had recruited the prostituted woman as a confidential informant to arrange meetings with the men responding to her ad. They met the prostituted woman after Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies received a tip from someone in Ontario about suspicious activity in the area of a motel on Rt. 104. Deputies found an ad on Backpage.com, which advertised that a woman offered 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 addicted to heroin, 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 hometowns 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 prostituted person 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

State New York
Type City
Population 10470
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