Rensselaer County, NY

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

Rensselaer County, New York, has a population of approximately 161,000 and is located 13 miles east of Albany. Its county seat is Troy, a city of approximately 52,000. Periodic reverse stings have been conducted within the county since at least 1997 and possibly before. In a 1999 reverse sting in Troy, the decoys used for a street operation were female New York State Troopers. The names, ages, and hometowns of arrestees were released to news outlets, and at least one vehicle was seized for potential forfeiture. Subsequent reverse stings in Troy have also involved collaborations with the New York State Police, and identities and addresses of arrestees have been publicized.

In October 2012, an operation in Rensselaer County resulted in the arrest of a man on federal child sex trafficking charges. FBI agents allege that he arranged with a woman to exchange money for access to sexually abuse a 12-year-old girl. He was arrested when he showed up at a Rensselaer County motel carrying $500, condoms, and a lubricant. A federal complaint alleged the man had arranged to pay the cash to an unidentified woman who was recording some of their conversations. Authorities reported that he had previously solicited sex from an adult prostituted woman. During that encounter, he asked the woman if she could help him find a “younger” prostituted woman. That woman put the man into contact with the informant, who contacted law enforcement authorities after learning that the man was seeking sex with children. FBI agents then recorded conversations between the informant and the defendant, who sought intercourse with a 12-year-old girl. He faced up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

In August 2018, five men were arrested for patronizing a prostitute during a web-based prostitution sting in Troy, with undercover investigators utilizing websites and/or social media platforms to arrange meetings at locations within the town.

In April 2021, the New York State Police took part in a multiagency investigation into child exploitation and human trafficking. The sting occurred throughout the Capital District and resulted in the arrest of fifteen individuals – including three in Schodack. The men were charged with patronizing a person for prostitution, and their identities were included in a press release. The agencies and units participating include the Troop G Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Troop G Violent Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team, Troop G Computer Crimes Unit, the Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force from the Albany Division of the FBI, Rotterdam Police Department, North Greenbush Police Department, Colonie Police Department, East Greenbush Police Department, and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. The District Attorney’s Offices of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties were also consulted during this investigation.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Auto Seizure:

  • “Troy Cops Pledge to Continue Car Seizure”, Albany Times Union, June 11 1999.
  • “Guilty Plea Puts Johns Back Behind the Wheel”, Albany Times Union, June 12 1999.
  • “Police Find Seizing Cars the Easiest Part”, Albany Times Union, June 13 1999.
  • “Seizure Laws Put Johns on Alert”, Albany Times Union, July 4 1999.
  • “Taking Johns’ Cars Not Easy”, Albany Times Union, February 19 2003.

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Troy Police Are Vowing a Crackdown on Prostitution; Our Opinion: Rigid Enforcement Will Help Curb Drug Crime and the Risk of AIDS”, Albany Times Union, May 11 1994.
  • “Prostitution Raid Comes Up More or Less Empty in Troy”, Albany Times Union, September 21 1996.
  • “35 Arrested in Police Sweep”, Albany Times Union, July 25 2003.
  • “Police Sweep Wraps Up”, Albany Times Union, May 5 2004.
  • “Troy Prostitution Bust”, Time Warner Cable News, February 1 2008.
  • “Cloud 9 Closed after Police Raid”, Troy Record, February 2 2008.
  • “Police Raid Club in Troy, Code Violations Found; Prostitution Charged”, Albany Times Union, February 2 2008.
  • “Street Crimes Unit Accuses Area Woman of Prostitution”, Troy Record, July 6 2008.
  • “Woman Charged with Prostitution”, Troy Record, August 18 2008.
  • “Four Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Troy”, Troy Record, February 28 2009.
  • (2019)

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Troy Man Arrested in Hatchet Attack”, Albany Times Union, November 20 1990.
  • “Prostitute Slain in Troy’s Riverfront Park”, Albany Times Union, July 22 1993.
  • “Troy Cops Determined to Find Prostitute’s Killer”, Albany Times Union, July 23 1993.
  • “Police Study Rape, Assault Reports in Search for Prostitute’s Killer”, Albany Times Union, July 27 1993.
  • “Man Held in Slaying of Troy Prostitute”, Albany Times Union, August 3 1993.
  • “Women See Perils, But Can’t Vow to Stop”, Albany Times Union, September 19 1993.
  • “Victim Offered Sex for Drugs, Cop Testifies”, Albany Times Union, May 11 1995.
State New York
Type County
Population 161640
Comments are closed.