Mayor Jorge Elorza, Commissioner Steven M. Paré, and Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. today announced seven new arrests in the ongoing undercover sting operation, ‘Operation Backpage’.
“If you use Backpage.com to solicit sex in Providence, you had better watch your back,” said Mayor Elorza. “While online sites such as Backpage.com have created a new mechanism for the sex trade the Providence Police Department continues to meet those challenges head-on. Our investigators are working every day to bring to justice those who perpetuate and seek to profit from prostitution and provide support for the victims of sex trafficking. I commend their performance.”
Led by a directive from Mayor Elorza to address the growing issue of individuals answering online advertisements to pay for the illegal procurement of sex through the website Backpage.com, ‘Operation Backpage’ has led to the arrest of 42 individuals since March 2015.
The most recent sting related to “Operation Backpage” was conducted last Thursday, September 25th, resulting in the arrest of seven men soliciting for sex online. Providence Police Narcotics Detectives placed advertisements on Backpage.com disguised as women soliciting for sex. Throughout the investigation undercover policewomen arranged to meet the responding males inside a local hotel, where they are arrested and charged with procurement of sexual conduct for a fee. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in 6th District Court on October 13th.
“The Providence Police will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to end illegal solicitation for sex on Backpage.com,” said Colonel Clements. “These seven recent arrests are attributed to the hard work of our officers and should serve as a reminder that these crimes will not be tolerated in our City.”