Provo, UT

Tactics Used

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

Provo is the third-largest city in the state of Utah, located about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City.  Provo has a population of approximately 117,000. Residents have complained to police about prostitution.  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 an ad 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 a 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 of men accused of trying to lure minors on the internet to meet for sexual contact. Police said they struck up conversations with the suspects online, on sites and apps such as Grindr, Whisper and Craigslist.



Key Partners

  • Provo Police Department
  • Provo City Attorney’s Office
  • Utah’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force
  • Utah County Sheriff’s Office
State Utah
Type City
Population 117592
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