|IT Based Tactics
Richmond is the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, and has a population of about 36,000 residents. The city contains Eastern Kentucky University, and is located along the major Interstate 75 corridor. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated 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. For example, in January 2011, Richmond police arrested six people on charges of promoting prostitution after a raid at three massage parlors. The arrests were the result of a three-month investigation by Richmond police and Kentucky State Police. Search warrants were served at the three businesses, and the arrested persons were booked at the Madison County jail. In April 2014, Richmond police received a complaint that a woman was walking around naked close to South Maple and State Street. When they responded, they said they found a 40-year-old man naked from the waist down having sex with a prostituted woman on the hood of a vehicle. They were both arrested and charged with prostitution and indecent exposure.
To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand, which provides the revenue stream driving all prostitution and trafficking. A brothel-based reverse sting was conducted in May 2006. In response to tips and complaints about prostitution occurring in a local massage parlor, police opened an investigation and found evidence of prostitution activity. During the execution of a search warrant there, the Richmond Police Criminal Investigation Division discovered condoms, cash, and crystal methamphetamine. Police arrested and removed the three employees. After the initial arrests of the brothel employees, police re-opened the business the next day with a staff of undercover officers. When sex buyers arrived, the officers posed as employees of the brothel and asked what they would like. In a two-hour period, six men were arrested after asking to exchange sex for money with the undercover officer. The men who offered to pay for sex were arrested after they got undressed, which demonstrated an intent to act upon the agreement of an exchange. The men were held in the Madison County Detention Center overnight before each posted a $500 cash bond. The Lexington and Berea police departments assisted in the investigation.
In October 2020, a Richmond resident was charged with first-degree wanton endangerment and prostitution (solicitation) after being arrested by Richmond Police. According to a citation, officers responded to a report of a man threatening with a gun. The victim stated the man was at their apartment and that he poured urine on her bed. She told officers she locked him outside and he banged on the door and when she opened it, he pointed a gun at her and threatened her and asked where his keys were. Police spoke with the suspect, and found him to seem intoxicated. The citation stated he admitted he came to the area to have sex for $200 and when the victims would not comply, he pulled out his gun. He allegedly told the police he met one of the victims online. When asked where the money was, the man allegedly said he was going to go to the ATM. He was arrested and taken to the Madison County Detention Center.
- Richmond Police Department
- Lexington Police Department
- Berea Police Department
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- http://www.richmondregister.com/archives/parlor-closed-on-prostitution-charges (2006)
- https://www.somerset-kentucky.com/news/local_news/pulaski-men-busted-in-richmond-prostitution-sting (2006)
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.richmondregister.com/news/police-courts/richmond-police-arrest-man-for-endangerment-prostitution (2020)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: