Utica, NY

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Utica is a city of approximately 62,000 residents, located along the Mohawk River near Rome in Oneida County, New York. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city and its surrounding areas.  In one case, a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim was murdered in Utica in 2003.  In 2019, a sex buyer in Utica was the victim of an armed robbery, and shot and killed the person who appeared to be working with the prostituted woman and attempted the robbery.  The man was an off-duty police officer who was not charged with homicide and apparently shot in self defense, but he was charged with the misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute.

Although the Utica Police Department appears to primarily target sex sellers for arrest over buyers, it has conducted at least two street-level reverse stings targeting johns. In May and June 2011, officers from the UPD’s Special Operations Unit posed as prostituted women in areas of the city “known for high levels of prostitution activity.” As men approached the undercover officers and made an offer of cash for sex, they were arrested by a backup team. All of the individuals’ names, mugshots, and other identifying information were released to the public.


Key Partners

  • Utica Police Department
    • Special Operations Unit

Key Sources


State New York
Type City
Population 62235
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