|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Wauseon is a city of approximately 8,000 residents. Located 30 miles west of Toledo, it is the county seat of Fulton County, Ohio. The city has conducted at least one reverse sting targeting consumer-level demand for commercial sex. In 2008, a two-day web-based reverse sting resulted in the arrest of 10 sex buyers. The operation was conducted at a hotel on State Route 108 in Wauseon (there are three motels and a truck stop at Exit 34, the Ohio Turnpike interchange at St. Rt. 108). Reports of prostitution in the area’s motels were received from confidential informants. Based on that information, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office launched an undercover operation. An ad for sexual activity was posted online on Craigslist. Arrangements were made for an undercover female officer to meet men at the Arrowhead Motel; motel owners cooperated with the operation. It was reportedly the first prostitution sting conducted in the area in over 24 years. All of the men’s names, ages, and addresses were publicized by the local media. Among those arrested, FCSO records indicated five were married. The men faced a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, if convicted.
In January 2009, one of the men arrested in the sting was convicted of solicitation, a third-degree misdemeanor, in a jury trial. He was sentenced to pay a $250 fine, subjected to community control sanctions, and ordered to perform 45 hours of community service. Another man had his charge amended to a charge of attempted solicitation and was fined $250 plus $57 in court costs, and was ordered to perform 60 hours of community service. One of the men pleaded no contest and was found guilty of solicitation. He was fined $250 plus $117 in court costs and was placed under community control and ordered to perform 45 hours of community service. Two other men were also convicted of solicitation in a jury trial and were ordered to pay a fine of $250 plus court costs, placed under community control, and ordered to perform 45 hours of community service.
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Fulton County Sheriff Arrests 10 men in Wauseon Prostitution Sting”, Toledo Blade, July 23 2008.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 10 Arrests”, Archbold Buckeye, July 30 2008.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: