Wood County, OH

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

Wood County is a county of approximately 132,000 residents, located south of Toledo in northwest Ohio. It contains the cities of Perrysburg and its county seat 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 these issues, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office has conducted street-level reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. Operations have typically used one or more undercover female officers who pose as decoys. As sex buyers 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 on 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 sex buyers’ 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




Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Ohio
Type County
Population 132472
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