Provo, UT

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

Provo is the third-largest city in Utah, located about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. Provo has a population of approximately 115,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city, surrounding communities, and other 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. In response to such concerns, police have conducted at least one reverse sting targeting consumer-level demand for commercial sex. On May 6 and 7, 2009, Provo Police Department officers posted ads on Craigslist and Backpage advertising sex for sale. The ad was allegedly from an out-of-state woman who said she would be visiting Provo and would meet with those wanting to “have a good time.”  Two undercover female officers made 11 appointments for a four-to-five-hour window on May 7, but only nine men showed up offering to pay for sex. The men were all arrested and cited with the class B misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute. Their names were not released to the public.

In May 2019, the Provo and Orem police departments collaborated on an undercover sting operation in Utah County that netted 13 arrests. The men were accused of trying to lure minors on the internet to meet for sexual contact. Police said their detectives initiated the conversations with the suspects online, on sites and apps such as Grindr, Whisper, and Craigslist.

Key Partners

State Utah
Type City
Population 115162
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