|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Sheridan is a city of about 18,000 residents that serves as the county seat of Sheridan County, Wyoming. Prostitution and sex trafficking in the area have been well documented in the city and surrounding areas for decades, dating back to the frontier brothels of the early 1900s. In contemporary times, local sex trafficking has been targeted as an area of need, including victim identification and support training for local hospitals.
Demand reduction tactics have been employed in the city. For example, in November, 2021, federal prosecutors alleged that a man who was arrested in Sheridan tried to solicit prostitution with teens he perceived to be 12- and 14-years old. According to charges filed in US District Court for Wyoming, the man was charged with attempting to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. If convicted, he could face between 10 years to life in prison. A criminal complaint alleged that authorities participating in a sting operation created a website on a “known escort website” in Billings, MT that included two photographs of two adult females. Undercover agents received a test from a Wyoming phone number, engaged with the respondent and said there were “two young girls” ready to play, one being 14 and the other being 12. The agent called the suspect and they discussed which sexual abuse acts the man would perform on the presumed underage girls. They also agreed to meet halfway between Gillette and Billings, the complaint stated. In October, 2021, the suspect approached an undercover agent in Sheridan at the agreed upon location, and produced the agreed upon amount of $1,200 before he was placed under arrest. He was then taken to the Johnson County Detention Center. His identity was included in news reports. For the purposes of Demand Forum, we place the location of the use of the demand reduction tactic “sex buyer arrest” in Sheridan, since that is where the arrest occurred. The reverse sting operation was located in the Billings, MT commercial sex market, so we placed the use of a “reverse sting” there.
- U.S. Attorney’s Office, Wyoming
Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:
Background on Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://muse.jhu.edu/book/red light women rocky mountains (2011)
- http://www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com/behind locked doors sheriden’s rooming houses(2013)
- https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/sheridan-wyoming (2013)
- https://kingfm.com/the-history-of-brothels-in-wyoming/ (2016)
- https://www.thesheridanpress.com/human-trafficking-health-care-workers (2019)
- https://uprisingwyo.org/sheridan-nonprofit-leading-state-human-trafficking-prevention-education/ (2022)
- https://cowboystatedaily.com/wyoming-fight-against-human-trafficking-headway/ (2022)
- https://uprisingwyo.org/sex-trafficking/ (2022)
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