Port Salerno, FL

Tactics Used

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

Port Salerno is a census-designated place of just over 10,000 residents, located south of Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce in Martin County, Florida. As in the nearby Jupiter and Hobe Sound, Port Salerno residents and local law enforcement have reported problems with street prostitution and sex trafficking in the community for years. Multiple cases of targeted homicides of prostituted women have also been documented.

In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex, and hence prostitution and sex trafficking, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office has conducted reverse stings since at least 1998. Operations are typically conducted at street level, using one or more female undercover deputies as decoys.  For example, two reverse stings in Port Salerno in 2008 and 2009 arrested 15 sex buyers.  The names, ages, addresses, photos, and other details about those arrested are often reported in press.

Key Partners

  • Martin County Sheriff’s Office

Key Sources

State Florida
Type City
Population 10091
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