Wood County, OH

Tactics Used

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

Wood County is a county of approximately 125,000 residents, located south of Toledo in northwest Ohio. It contains the cities of Perrysburg and Bowling Green. Situated along Interstate 75, the county has struggled with problems associated with prostitution activity in and around local truck stops for decades. To address the issue, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office has conducted street-level reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. Operations typically use one or more undercover female officers, who pose as decoys. As johns attempt to solicit sex from the women, they are quickly arrested.

In July 2011, sheriff’s deputies furthered their efforts by conducting a web sting. Officers placed a decoy advertisement and phone number to an internet site known to advertise commercial sex; a female officer then arranged meetings with the men who replied. As a warning to other would-be sex buyers, the WCSO released the johns’ names and other identifying information to the local media.

In the first half of 2013, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office arrested nine men in two prostitution sting operations.  The June reverse sting operation took place at a motel in northern Wood County, and all five men were supposed to appear in Perrysburg Municipal Court. The May operation took place at Wood County area truck stops.  Both operations were completed with assistance from the Lake Township Police Department and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.  In April 2014, a street-level reverse sting occurred at truck stops along I-75 at SR 18 and SR 613, resulting in the arrest of five sex buyers.  In June 2014, another sting resulted in the arrest of nine sex buyers.

Key Partners

  • Wood County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lake Township Police Department
  • Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office




State Ohio
Type County
Population 125380
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