Over 9,000 arrested in national sex trafficking sting

Over 9,000 arrested in national sex trafficking sting

Called the National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI), the operation running since 2011 to deter johns and interrupt online havens of sex trafficking recently racked up 400 arrests nationwide, including more than 50 in Illinois alone.

The National Johns Suppression Initiative report that since the NJSI began in 2011, more than 9,000 johns have been arrested nationwide.

This year more than 20 police agencies in 14 states participated in the 17th National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI) which ran from Jan. 13 through to Feb. 3.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 38 sex buyers.

Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said the arrests included joint operations with the Lansing, Matteson, and Orland Hills police departments.

In Lake County, 14 johns were arrested, and three were arrested by the Rockford Police Department.

Law enforcement agencies posted decoy ads on over a dozen trafficking-related websites, which led artificial intelligence bots to deter johns and, in many cases, to police officers who then made arrests.

The AI bot interacts with bots and eventually sends a deterrence message warning of the legal and social dangers of buying sex. Agencies that used the bot engaged 1,477 potentially sex buyers with nearly 8,500 messages sent. In Cook County, the bot engaged 159 contacts.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office arrested one individual, who is a high-frequency sex buyer, and sent more than 350 text messages and placed nine phone calls to bot phone numbers.

Law enforcement agencies in Alabama, Arizona, California, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin also participated.

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