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Sidney is a city of about 6,000 residents, and serves as the government seat of Cheyenne County, Nebraska. The city is located in southern Nebraska, within 10 miles of the Colorado state line. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Cheyenne County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. 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 January 2015, a man was charged in Cheyenne County Court for 3rd degree assault and solicitation of prostitution.
In January 2018, four men previously arrested in an undercover prostitution sting appeared in Scotts Bluff County Court. Undercover investigators had posted advertisements on the internet. Men responded to the ads and texted the “females” to arrange pricing and the location where they would meet for prostitution. In the communications, the stated age of the prostituted person was 15-years-old. In two instances, undercover investigators arranged for the men to purchase access to sexually abuse who they thought was a 15-year-old girl and her mother. Once the men arrived to the location, the arrest team answered the door and arrested the suspects. Charges included Sex Trafficking (Class 1B Felony) and Solicitation of Prostitution (Class IV felony and Class 1 misdemeanor). The investigation was a collaborative effort of nine different agencies including the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, the Scotts Bluff County Attorney’s Office, the Salvation Army, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Scottsbluff Police Department, the Gering Police Department, the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, the Sidney Police Department, and the Alliance Police Department.
In June 2018, the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) arrested one person in Sidney following a Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force operation. The suspect was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. The Task Force was assisted by the WING (Western Nebraska Intelligence and Narcotics Group) Task Force, the Sidney Police Department, Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office, Gering Police Department, Scottsbluff Police Department, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, the Nebraska State Patrol, and several other entities.
Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- http://kneb.com/regional-news/four-arrested-in-panhandle-prostitution-sting-to-make-first-court-appearance (2018)
- http://nebraska.tv/news/local/mitchell-man-arrested-in-human-trafficking-operation (2018)
- http://www.knopnews2.com/content/news/Mitchell-man-arrested-in-Human-Trafficking-Task-Force-operation (2018)
- http://www.ksidradio.com/news/details (2018)
- https://www.starherald.com/mitchell-man-arrested-during-human-trafficking-task-force-operation (2018)
- https://statepatrol.nebraska.gov/about/news (2018)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: