Post Falls, ID
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Post Falls is a city of approximately 43,000 residents in Kootenai County, Idaho, between Coeur d’Alene and Spokane, Washington. It is a suburb to the east of Coeur d’Alene. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the city and greater county area. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the city experienced significant problems with massage parlors and escort businesses that served as fronts for prostitution. Among the more serious issues associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking and other child sexual abuse.
In efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex in the area, the Post Falls Police Department (PFPD) has participated in web-based reverse sting operations. These have often been in collaboration with other local and federal law enforcement agencies. For example, in 2019, the PFPD hosted a federal investigation led by Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, Operation Lonely Hearts, that targeted individuals seeking to sexually exploit minors online in exchange for money. As a result of the investigation, five male sex buyers were arrested after attempting to solicit sex from undercover officers posing as underage girls. The images and identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in reports by local media outlets. Additional agencies that participated in the operation included the Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho, Washington State Patrol, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- Operation Lonely Hearts (2019)
- Five arrested for enticing children over the internet in north Idaho over weekend (2019)
- https://www.cdapress.com/local_news/sex_stingleads_tofed_charges (2019)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- Prostitute is fined $300 (1989)
- “Police Suspect Valley Couple of Leading Prostitution Ring,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 12 1990.
- “Court Charges Spokane Man with Trying to Hire Prostitutes,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 16 1990.
- “Undercover Agent Interviewed by Pair in Prostitution-Ring Case,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 16 1990.
- “Formal Charges Filed in Escort Service Case,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, January 17 1991.
- “Prostitution Guilt Admitted,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, February 21 1991.
- https://lmtribune.com/northwest/stateline-idaho-raids-may-mean-the-end-of-an-era-live-and-let-live-attitude (1992)
- Police arrest 2 for prostitution in raid (1993)
- “Escort Service Operator Faces Laundering Charges; She Allegedly Used Casino to Hide Prostitution Profits,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, February 3 2007.
- “Plea Deal Made in Prostitution Ring; Woman Accused of Laundering Money at Casino,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 28 2007.
- https://cdapress.com/news/post-falls-woman-arrested-on-misdemeanor (2013)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
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