Pueblo County, CO

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

Pueblo County is a county of about 170,000 residents in Colorado, located south of Denver and near Colorado Springs. The county’s most populous city and county seat is Pueblo. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been documented in the county. This activity and its ancillary crimes have generated complaints from residents and businesses to local law enforcement. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.

In effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the county, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has conducted both street-level and web-based reverse sting operations targeting individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex in the county. As a result of these operations, officials frequently release the identities and images of arrested sex buyers. For example, in 2014, the Pueblo Police Department and the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office participated in the FBI’s annual nationwide investigation, Operation Cross Country, focused on combatting the demand for child sex trafficking. During the two-day street-level reverse sting operation, twelve male sex buyers were arrested on charges of soliciting prostitution. Eleven females, all adults, were arrested for prostitution. In addition, four females were arrested for being accomplices to prostitution. Only one underage contact was made during the investigation – a 15-year-old female who had run away from home. She was not arrested but was instead returned to her guardian.

In 2021, seven people from southern Colorado were arrested on felony charges for soliciting child prostitution after an online sting by the Pueblo Police Department, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security. The Pueblo Police Department announced the arrests Wednesday, saying that the sting happened between June 11-12 within the city of Pueblo. Undercover agents posed as juveniles through posting decoy advertisements on websites known for prostitution and sex trafficking and communicated with suspected sex buyers online. Undercover officers arranged to meet suspected sex buyers, and upon their arrival the suspects were taken into custody. The identities and ages of arrested offenders were included in reports by local media outlets.

Additional demand reduction tactics have been employed in the county such as public education and sex buyer arrests. For example, in 2005, the brother of a fugitive polygamist sect leader was indicted by a federal grand jury for concealing the illicit activities of his brother. The fugitive and a passenger were arrested during a traffic stop in Pueblo County, CO. According to authorities, the fugitive had over $140,000 in cash, approximately $7,000 worth of prepaid debit and phone cards, and his brother’s personal papers in the SUV. The passenger allegedly told officials that the fugitive had “hired him for sexual companionship.” Both men were arrested for investigation on state charges of prostitution and soliciting prostitution. Their identities were included in reports by local media outlets.

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Public Education:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Colorado
Type County
Population 169622
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