St. George, 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

St. George is a city of approximately 95,000 residents in southwest Utah’s Washington County.  Prostitution and sex trafficking (including child sex trafficking) are known problems in the city. To reduce local commercial sex activity, the St. George Police Department has conducted several reverse stings both at the street level and using the web. In November 2010, one such operation resulted in the arrest of nine sex buyers whose names and other identifying information were not released to the public. By contrast, following reverse stings in October 2013 and June 2014, the SGPD and Washington County Drug Task Force released the names and mugshots of all the men they arrested.

The fight against child sex trafficking and exploitation continued in St. George, with arrests being made in September 2020. The operation occurred after community members made reports to law enforcement of online advertisements promoting the trafficking of children. The Dixie State University Police Department led the investigation with supporting team members from the St. George Police Department, FBI, and Homeland Security. After being made aware of the advertisement, law enforcement set up a web-based reverse sting with the 135 offenders who had reached out. Ultimately, 12 individuals were arrested, ranging in age from 19 to over 70. As in previous cases, the names and ages of the perpetrators were released to the public, in addition to the charges they faced. Looking towards the future, law enforcement thanked the community for being so diligent and urged them to remember that child sex trafficking is still a prevalent issue in the county.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Web Stings:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Utah
Type City
Population 95342
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