Roland, OK

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

Roland is a small city of about 3,000 residents in eastern Oklahoma, near Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is located in Sequoyah County, and is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution activity has 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, the owner and another employee of a business were arrested as authorities investigated reports of illegal sexual activity and human trafficking following a sex sting at the massage parlor. The Sequoyah County undersheriff said the department sent an undercover officer into the business to determine if illegal sex acts were happening after receiving several reports; an employee inside tried to perform a sexual act on him. The investigators obtained probable cause to secure the business and obtain a search warrant. There could be more charges; investigators suspected this might have been a case of human trafficking.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. In their efforts to reduce prostitution locally, the Roland Police Department has conducted at least one reverse sting operation, which resulted in the arrest of four sex buyers. The January 2013 operation was staged at a local motel, and also targeted and arrested two women offering acts of prostitution. The names and ages of all of the arrestees were publicized in press.

Oklahoma law prohibits people from engaging in prostitution under 21 O.S. 1029, which addresses both prostitution and solicitation of prostitution in the same manner under the same statute. Both prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors. The penalties for prostitution and solicitation include a jail term of 30 days to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 on the first offense. The fines increase with subsequent convictions, and the court may also mandate 40 to 80 hours of community service.

Key Partners

  • Roland Police Department
  • Sebastian and Crawford Counties Drug Task Force
State Oklahoma
Type City
Population 3495
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