Warren County, NY
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Warren County is located in upstate New York, north of Albany and near the Vermont border. The population is almost 64,000 residents, and the county seat is Queensbury.
To address prostitution and sex trafficking in the county, efforts have been made to address the consumer level demand that drives all prostitution and sex trafficking. For example, in June 2016, a reverse sting was conducted in which an undercover female officer posed as a woman in prostitution selling sex in an online advertisement. Police used a room at a hotel and arrested four men who responded to the ad, met with the undercover officer, and agreed to pay for a sexual act. The identities of the arrested men were disclosed publicly.
In November 2016, four local men were arrested during an international prostitution investigation that involved the FBI and Warren County Sheriff’s Office, an inquiry that also ensnared another local man who police said possessed child sexual abuse materials (i.e., child pornography). Four of the five were charged with misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute, while the fifth was charged with federal felony counts of possession of child pornography and knowingly receiving child pornography. The investigation was part of a federal undercover effort “Operation Cross Country X,” which targeted human traffickers and led to hundreds of arrests around the country. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is part of a regional task force that was part of the operation.
In June 2017, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, and the New York State Police set up a reverse sting called “Operation Spider Byte.” Officials were targeting people who were trying to solicit sex acts from 9- to 14-year-old girls on social media. The Warren County Sheriff explained that the FBI sought local help with the operation to crack down on underage sex trafficking. Police posted fake advertisements on classified ad websites and arranged meetings with respondents at a local motel. Suspects were arrested after arriving at the motel. Twelve men agreed to meet with undercover officers for the purpose of having sex but were promptly arrested. The identities of the arrested men were disclosed to the public.
In July 2019, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested 7 men after they attempted to meet with a minor for sex. Investigators from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson Falls Police, New York State Police, and the FBI collaborated in the investigation. The men’s charges included attempted rape, attempted criminal sex act, and at least two charges of patronizing a person for prostitution. Their names, ages, and hometowns were released to the press.
- Warren County Sheriff’s Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- New York State Police
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office
- Hudson Falls Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://poststar.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/four-charged-in-federal-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://poststar.com/news/local/police-make-arrests-in-sex-sting/ (2017)
- https://patch.com/new-york/midhudsonvalley/wappinger-correction-captain-caught-social-media-sex-solicitation-sting (2017)
- https://local12.com/news/nation-world/breaking-school-bus-driver-radio-personality-arrested-in-sex-sting-operation (2017)
- https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/12-Capital-Region-men-arrested-in-underage-sex (2017)
- https://cbs6albany.com/news/local/7-arrested-accused-of-attempting-to-meet-with-a-minor-in-washington-county (2019)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://pix11.com/news/ny-walmart-worker-arrested-for-in-store-prostitution (2013)
- https://poststar.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/queensbury-woman-charged-with-prostitution (2017)
- https://www.saratogian.com/2017/04/27/queensbury-woman-charged-with-prostitution/ (2017)
- http://cbs6albany.com/news/local/deputies-woman-used-website-arrested-prostitution-charge (2017)
- https://poststar.com/news/local/two-queensbury-residents-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (2018)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
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