Seaford, DE

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

Seaford is a city in Sussex County, Delaware with a population of approximately 15,000.  Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city, and have generated numerous complaints from residents.  For example, in October, 2015, Delaware State Police detectives arrested two women at a Seaford area massage parlor after receiving citizen complaints of prostitution activity occurring at the establishment. The local sex trade has also generated many additional crimes, such as drug and weapons offenses, sexual assault of minors, and endangering the welfare of a child.

To combat consumer-level demand commercial sex that drives all of these crimes, local police have periodically conducted reverse stings, and arrested men who solicited prostitution from real child victims rather than police decoys. In November 2017 the Seaford Police Department assisted the Dover Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security (Homeland Security Investigations Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in executing an undercover prostitution operation in Seaford. Police said six men were arrested on prostitution charges.  The names, ages, and city of residence for the men arrested were released by police. The investigation also found drugs and a gun, along with the prostitution operation.

In August, 2018, an undercover prostitution operation led to the arrests of eight male sex buyers in Seaford. The individuals were arrested and charged with patronizing a prostitute and loitering to engage in prostitution. One of the men was booked on charges of patronizing a prostitute, loitering to engage in prostitution and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Police said the latter charges were filed against him after he solicited an undercover female officer for sex while his two children were in the back seat of his vehicle. All were identified in news reports. Seaford police were assisted by the Delaware State Police Troop 5 P.A.C.E. Unit and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In August, 2019, Seaford Police arrested five men during an undercover prostitution operation, each charged with “patronizing a prostitute.” The operation was a result of an initiative to identify problematic areas within City Limits displaying a high level of quality of life issues. Seaford Police were assisted by the Laurel Police Department, Delaware State Police Troop 5 P.A.C.E. Unit, Delaware State Police Sussex GTF, Delaware State Police SDU, Department of Corrections Probation and Parole, and Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit.

In October, 2021, a man has been arrested on multiple counts of child sex abuse in Seaford. According to the Seaford Police Department, the 51-year-old man was arrested following a month and a half long investigation. Police say he allegedly “solicited sexual favors” from juveniles, and he was charged with five counts of Sexual Solicitation of a Minor and two counts of Patronizing Prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Seaford Police Department
  • Delaware State Police
    • Troop 5 P.A.C.E. Unit
    • Sussex GTF
    • Delaware State Police SDU
    • Victim Services Unit
  • DHS
    • HSI
    • ICE
  • Department of Corrections Probation and Parole

Key Sources

Reverse Sting:

Sex Buyer Arrest; Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking, Related Crimes:

State Delaware
Type City
Population 15153
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