|IT Based Tactics
Roseland is a town within Clay Township, St. Joseph County, Indiana. The town is part of the South Bend–Mishawaka, IN-MI, Metropolitan Statistical Area, and has a population of under 1,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the county and metro area, including the nearby cities of South Bend and Elkhart. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.
To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for prostitution, which provides the revenue stream driving all prostitution and sex trafficking. The South Bend Police Department began conducting street-level reverse stings in 1991. Operations in the 1990s typically deployed an undercover female officer who served as a decoy for street prostitution. When sex buyers attempted to solicit sex from her, they were quickly arrested.
South Bend Police have collaborated with other agencies to conduct reverse stings in other communities. For example, in August 2015, police conducted a web-based reverse sting in Roseland. One man was arrested after he responded to online advertisements that appeared to offer sexual abuse of two girls, ages 13 and 14, but were actually posted by undercover police officers. The suspect exchanged text messages with the police officers and at one point agreed to pay $75 to sexually abuse the fictitious 14-year-old girl. When he went to meet the girl at a Roseland hotel, officers arrested him. At a hearing in St. Joseph Superior Court, the man pleaded guilty to one count of human trafficking and two counts of child solicitation. He faced a sentence of up to 12 years for each count of child solicitation and up to six years for the human trafficking charge, though his plea agreement called for all three sentences to be served at the same time.
- St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office
- South Bend Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/mishawaka-man-pleads-guilty-in-child-prostitution-sting (2016)
Background on Prostitution in the Area: