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Vernon is a town in central Connecticut, about 10 miles from Hartford, and has a population of approximately 30,000 residents. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.
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. To combat the demand that drives both prostitution and sex trafficking, the Vernon Police Department has conducted occasional reverse stings since at least 1990. The reverse sting that year resulted in 41 arrests.
In 2017, an operation by a regional narcotics task force aimed at solicitation of prositution resulted in the arrests of 10 people. The East Central Narcotics Task Force set up the operation in the capitol region area after officers had developed information that there was an increase of sex buyers engaging in the illegal solicitation of prostitution and related narcotic activities. Task Force officers arranged to meet with the sex buyers, who offered to provide an undercover officer money in exchange for sexual acts. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in news releases. As a result of this investigation, approximately $1,500 in cash was seized, and a vehicle was impounded. The following items were also seized: Black 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol w/Magazine, Rounds of 9mm ammunition, crack cocaine, and suspected crack cocaine pipes.
- Vernon Police Department
- East Central Narcotics Task Force
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure, Vehicle Seizure:
- Record-Journal, Feb. 3, 1990. Rabbi Charged in Prostitution Sting.
- https://patch.com/connecticut/vernon/three-vernon-men-nabbed-prostitution-sting (2017)
- https://www.courant.com/community/manchester/hc-manchester-prostitution-charges (2017)
Background on Local Prostitution: