COOK COUNTY, Ill., July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- July 30,2013A coalition of federal and local law enforcement agencies conducted a sting operation that led to the arrests of 323 would-be sex buyers along with 36 pimps, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.
The sixth "National Day of Johns Arrests" operation, an ongoing campaign now encompassing 36 agencies from 17 states ran for 21 days from July 7 through July 28 in a widespread crackdown on the demand for purchased sex. Founded and coordinated by the Cook County Sheriff's Department, these sweeps are the foundation of an on-going national effort to highlight the role of sex buyers as perpetrators of this violent and exploitative industry.
Charges stemming from this effort include adult and juvenile felony sex trafficking, criminal solicitation of a minor, pimping, pandering, promotion of adult and juvenile prostitution and public indecency. In addition to the sex-related arrests, the sweeps yielded charges relating to drug trafficking and possession of illegal firearms.
The latest "National Day of Johns Arrests" results reflect growing momentum for this national campaign. While 36 jurisdictions are now on board, including 18 new law enforcement agencies signing on for 2013, not all participate in every operation. This sting included more than 16 jurisdictions. In less than two years and in six operations, the collaborative effort has resulted in a total of 1,473 arrests of potential sex buyers.
"This broad national partnership and the sheer number of arrests should send a strong message to prospective sex solicitors that their 'hobby' will inevitably land them in jail or worse," said Sheriff Dart. "No longer should sex trafficking be viewed as a victimless crime. These women have been brutalized and taken advantage of - and the most effective way to deter these heinous crimes is to target the demand."
Cumulative numbers from the "National Day of Johns" campaign are as follows:
- 359 total arrests
- 323 sex solicitation arrests
- 36 sex trafficking/pimping arrests (29 for adult sex trafficking, 7 for juvenile sex trafficking)
- $123,060 minimum potential fines and penalties to the johns and trafficker
- Other pertinent statistics:
- 7 victims recovered
- 222 vehicles towed/seized
- 17 charges for possession/delivery of drugs
- 11 firearms recovered
- $6,842 in cash seized from within the vehicles
- 16 felony charges (including possession of a stolen vehicle)
Noteworthy anecdotes from the sweep:
- Ages of the johns ranged from 17 to 79 years old
- Transportation vehicles included taxis and semi-tractor trailers
- Pittsburgh PD arrested a man attempting to solicit sex with a loaded handgun in the front seat of the vehicle and a 6-month-old infant in the back seat
- Cook County Sheriff's Police recovered three victims, the most of any jurisdiction, including two juveniles (15 and 17 years of age)
- Oklahoma City PD arrested 10 sex traffickers, the most of any jurisdiction
- Minneapolis PD arrested a total of 53 johns, the most of any jurisdiction
- St. Paul PD arrested a Canadian politician - Michael Trent Allen of the Alberta Legislative Assembly - as he was attempting to solicit sex
The Cook County Sheriff's Office has taken the lead in coordinating the nationwide sweeps, while providing support for prostituted individuals in Cook County through its Human Trafficking Response Team. Victims seeking to leave their lives of sexual exploitation receive safe housing and counseling services from fellow prostitution survivors.
Additional information, including a summary of all data collected as a result of this collaborative sting operation, will be available by the end of the week on the websites of the Cook County Sheriff (www.cookcountysheriff.org) and Demand Abolition (www.demandabolition.org).
A list of National Day of Johns Arrests partners is below (*** signifies an agency that joined the campaign in 2013):
- Cook County Sheriff's Office (Illinois), lead coordinating agency
- F.B.I. Chicago Division - Orland Park Office (Illinois)
- Aurora PD (Illinois)
- Elgin PD (Illinois)
- Kane County Sheriff's Office (Illinois)
- Indianapolis Metro PD (Indiana)
- Boston PD (Massachusetts)
- Los Angeles PD (California)
- Phoenix PD (Arizona)
- Las Vegas PD (Nevada)
- Newport News PD (Virginia)
- Cincinnati PD (Ohio)
- Dayton PD (Ohio)
- Denver PD (Colorado)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Seattle PD (Washington)
- Pittsburgh PD (Pennsylvania)
- Texas/HumanSmuggling/TraffickingUnit-Cyber/ChildExploitationUnit-Computer Forensics/ICE/Homeland Security Investigations
- Lake County Sheriff's Office (Indiana)***
- Gary PD (Indiana)***
- Oklahoma City PD (Oklahoma)***
- Nashville Metro PD (Tennessee)***
- Sharonville PD (Ohio)***
- Minneapolis PD (Minnesota)***
- St. Paul PD (Minnesota)***
- Roseville PD (Minnesota)***
- Central Minnesota Task Force (Minnesota)***
- Harris County Sheriff's Office (Texas)***
- Harris County Constable Precinct 4 (Texas)***
- Houston PD (Texas)***
- Bexar County Sheriff's Office (Texas) ***
- San Antonio PD (Texas) ***
- Homeland Security Investigations (Texas)***
- Texas Department of Public Safety CID (Texas) ***
- Texas Office of the Attorney General (Texas)***
- Bexar County District Attorney's Office (Texas)***
Sheriff Dart reminds the public that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.
SOURCECook County Sheriff's Office