South Jordan, UT

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

South Jordan, is a city in south central Salt Lake County, Utah. Approximately, 18 miles south of Salt Lake City. As of the 2020 census, there approximately 80,000 people living in South Jordan, a city described as largely suburban. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in this area. For example, in September, 2021, three people were arrested and charged with using Asian massage parlors in Utah County as a front for human trafficking. The three had connections to six massage parlors in several Salt Lake County locaitons where women were forced to perform sex acts with customers in exchange for money, according to charging documents. Two were charged in 3rd District Court with engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity and money laundering, second-degree felonies; exploiting prostitution, a third-degree felony; and two counts of prostitution, a class B misdemeanor. Other charges included aiding prostitution, maintaining a public nuisance, and money laundering.  The investigation began earlier that year when the Utah Attorney General’s Statewide Enforcement of Crimes by Undocumented Residents Task Force received a tip from a woman that “she was being forced to engage in commercial sex,” the charges stated. The woman said she agreed to do massages only, but claimed that after taking the job she was forced to perform sex acts. The victims asked to go home, were not allowed to, and requested law enforcement assistance. Undercover agents visited the massage parlors while posing as clients and were offered sexual acts in exchange for money, according to charging documents.

In a separate case in October, 2021, a Salt Lake County man was arrested on multiple felony charges, including aggravated exploitation of prostitution, a second-degree felony; distribution/offer/arrange/distribution of controlled substances, a second-degree felony; two counts of knowingly produce/dispense/manufacture or a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; exploiting prostitution, a third-degree felony, and aiding prostitution, a class A misdemeanor. A probable cause statement filed by the Utah Attorney General’s Office says that a victim  met with law enforcement agencies regarding an individual distributing narcotics, specifically heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs, and that the same man was involved in the exploitation of women within the commercial sex industry and that she was specifically a victim of this individual.

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.  For example, in 2019, five men were arrested in a sting operation led by the South Jordan Police Department. A female detective, posing as a prostituted woman, offered to meet the five men at a local hotel. Upon their arrival, she requested payment in exchange for a sex act. Once the men had agreed, they were arrested and charged with “patronizing a prostitute.”

Key Partners

  • South Jordan Police Department

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

State Utah
Type City
Population 80139
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