Sherman County, OR

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

Sherman County, Oregon is home to approximately 1,900 residents. It is the second-least populated county in the state and is bordered by Gilliam County on the east, which is also sparsely populated. Sherman County is at the northern border of the state and is directly south of Washington. The county seat is Moro, and the largest city is Wasco. Prostitution and sex trafficking occurring within the county have been reported.

In effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the county, the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office has been involved in at least two web-based reverse sting operations. For example in 2020, the SCSO collaborated with its neighboring Gilliam County Sheriff’s Office and the Mid-Columbia Human Trafficking Task Force to conducted a web-based reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of two male sex buyers. While this might not appear to be many arrests, the sting made contact with a total of 160 potential buyers, highlighting the need for future operations in the area. Following their arrests, the names, charges, and ages of the offenders were released to the public creating a precedent of using the disclosure of sex buyer identities as a tactic to combat demand.

In September of 2021, an online sting operation targeting the demand side of prostitution and sex trafficking was conducted in The Dalles. The Dalles Police Department, collaborated with the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Gilliam County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mid-Columbia Human Trafficking Task Force during the reverse sting. Investigators posted decoy advertisements online for commercial sex. Four male sex buyers were arrested as a result of the operation. The majority of those arrests were local individuals who reside in the area of The Dalles. All of the arrestees were charged with ORS 167.008 (Commercial Sexual Solicitation), a class A misdemeanor. All cases were referred to the Wasco County District Attorney’s Office and Sherman County District Attorney’s Office for review and potential prosecution. About the reverse sting the Dalles Police Chief said,

“This operation, coupled with the Sex Offender Registration compliance sweep conducted on August 26th demonstrates our agencies combined resolve to combat the community problems and harm that result from sexual misconduct and the associated crimes that surround that behavior. I’m incredibly proud of our agency’s ability to work together to keep the region safe. Our efforts in this regard will continue.”

State Oregon
Type County
Population 1907
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