Lincoln Police Sergeant Ben Miller says too often prostitutes have been trapped in the trade by pimps who take over their lives through threats or drug dependency. Miller says sex trafficking isn’t necessarily the kidnapping of young people who are forced into selling themselves. He says it happens when a pimp threatens a woman’s family or gets a woman hooked on drugs.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois led the sting which took part in 18 states. More than one thousand arrests were made; 961 johns and 71 pimps.
Those arrested in Lincoln ranged in age from 28 to 58. Most were Lincoln residents, but the sting also arrested residents of Fairmont, Omaha, and Texas. The outsiders might have just been visiting Lincoln or they might have come to Lincoln specifically to solicit sex.
Miller says officers used technology and social media in the sting.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.