Saratoga 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

Saratoga County is located near Albany, New York, and has a population of approximately 230,000. It contains the cities and towns of Mechanicville, Stillwater, Clifton Park, Hudson Falls, and Saratoga Springs. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity has been well documented in the county and several of its communities and unincorporated areas. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex 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 an effort to reduce prostitution and sex trafficking activity in the county, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office has conducted at least one reverse sting. In July 2014, SCSO deputies conducted an eight-hour web-based sting that resulted in the arrest of 12 sex buyers. During the investigation, officers placed an online advertisement “to lure [sex buyers] looking to buy sex to a Clifton Park hotel room, [which had been] outfitted with surveillance by New York State Police” and undercover female deputies posing as decoys. In the days that followed, the SCSO released all of the arrestees’ names to the public. When asked about the operation, a representative with the SCSO reported that it was the first of its kind and was designed to “combat the key elements of the illegal sex trade.”

In May 2018, 16 people were arrested in two separate web-based prostitution stings in Clifton Park. Police declined to comment on the length of the investigation or what social media sites were used. However, they reported that seven men were charged with patronizing a prostitute, and their identities were released publicly. All defendants were issued appearance tickets and expected to return to Clifton Park Town Court a week after the second sting was conducted. State police were assisted with the sting operations by the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and Electronics Surveillance Unit, or C-NET.

In July 2018, another web-based reverse sting was conducted in Clifton Park by the State Police. The operation resulted in the arrests of six male sex buyers and two women on prostitution charges. Troopers said the sting operation began with officials setting up meetings in the Clifton Park area using social media. The identities and photos of the arrested individuals were released to news outlets.

In April 2021, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with the New York State Police and others in a multiagency investigation into child exploitation and human trafficking. The investigation occurred throughout the Capital District and resulted in the arrest of fifteen individuals. 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

Web-Based Reverse Stings and Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State New York
Type County
Population 237359
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