Wetzel County, WV

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Wetzel County, West Virginia has a population of just over 14,000.  It is located along the state’s northern border with Ohio and Pennsylvania, and its government seat is the city of New Martinsville. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results 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. Prostitution related violence – including homicide – has also occurred within the county.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and the public disclosure of identities and loss of employment are consequence of buying sex that have occurred within the county. For example, in February, 2015, the Wetzel County Board of Education accepted the resignation of their superintendent, who was arrested days earlier in a prostitution sting in Charleston, WV. The man was arrested during an Internet prostitution sting. He was in Charleston for the legislative session when he allegedly talked with an undercover officer posing as a prostituted woman online. They met at a hotel where the suspect allegedly offered the undercover officer money for sex. He was arrested and given a summons to appear in court, and then scheduled to be arraigned in Charleston. According to a notice from the board of education, a meeting was scheduled at the board office in New Martinsville. An interim superintendent was appointed.

Key Partners

  • Wetzel County Board of Education
  • Charleston Police Department
State West Virginia
Type County
Population 14170
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