Wasilla is a city of approximately 10, residents located about 50 miles north of Anchorage, AK. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in Wasilla and other areas of Mat-Su Valley, such as Palmer, AKwhich is less than a 20 minute drive from Wasilla.
In addition, local police have included demand-focused tactics in their efforts to control prostitution in the city. The operation involved placing decoy advertisements on Craigslist and other internet sites known for prostitution activity, and was conducted as part of a national law enforcement action known as Operation Cross Country.
As a result of the reverse sting, 10 sex buyers were arrested for soliciting prostitution, a misdemeanor offense in the state of Alaska. Their identities were not immediately released to the public, but were disclosed eventually.
For example, in Januarya Wasilla man was indicted on seven counts of sex trafficking. Ina tip from the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding a suspected trafficker operating out of Wasilla, led officials to a local Wasilla man believed to have been playing a role in a Southcentral sex trafficking operation.
According to authorities, a fatal car crash indrew the suspected sex trafficker to authorities after he attempted to claim to be a family member of one of the deceased, when he had actually been sex trafficking the woman. In January ofAlaska State Troopers AST searched the home and truck of alleged sex trafficker, wherein troopers identified several women that the man had lured into the sex trafficking operation in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. According to reports, the offender specifically recruited drug-addicted women, and that in return for lodging, food and drugs like heroin and methamphetamine, he sexually exploited them.
Inthe sex trafficker was sentenced to serve 13 years, 10 months in prison for two counts of sex trafficking through force, fraud and coercion. Additionally, in a Wasilla man was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison, to be followed by a one-year term of supervised release, for making threats online and extorting money in return.
In several cases, the defendant formed online romantic relationships with women, and received sexually explicit photographs from them.
On at least one occasion, the defendant then took the photographs he received and threatened to publish them unless the victim to engage in prostitution for the offender and send him a portion of the money that she earned. The defendant went so far as to post online prostitution advertisements for the victim.
The investigation was a result of a multi-level collaboration between federal, state, and local agencies. It was originally developed by Dr. Sex Trafficking in the Area: For example, in Januarya Wasilla man was indicted on seven counts of sex trafficking.
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