Columbus Day 2012: Law Enforcement Agencies Across the Nation Continue to Target ‘Johns’

Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Press Release

For More Information:
Cook County Sheriff’s Office

For Immediate Release
October 17, 2012

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(Chicago, Illinois – October 17, 2012) Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced the results of the fourth “National Day of Johns Arrests.” Law enforcement agencies from across the United States continue to join the anti-demand momentum with a Columbus Day operation. More than 20 United States law enforcement agencies from 12 different states simultaneously conducted sting activities on the streets, in hotels and brothels, and via the internet around Columbus Day. The operation yielded 94 Johns arrests. This collaborative effort reports 937 sex buyers, also known as “Johns”, have been arrested as a result of four operations. Buyers of sex are increasingly becoming the target of law enforcement efforts to end prostitution and sex trafficking. Law enforcement recognizes that sex buyers perpetuate a violent and exploitative industry. If no one were to buy sex, pimps and traffickers would not be supplying bars, back alleys and websites with victims.

As a result of Columbus Day 2012:

  • 94 men were arrested for soliciting sex
    • 38 civil citations/misdemeanor arrests (includes prostitution)
    • 7 possession/delivery of drugs arrests/charges
    • 2 weapons charges
    • 8 Warrants
  • 149 Charges

Participating law enforcement agencies in the collaboration include:

  1. Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Illinois) – lead coordinating agency
  2. F.B.I. Chicago Division – Orland Park Office (Illinois)
  3. Aurora PD (Illinois)
  4. Elgin PD (Illinois)
  5. Kane County Sheriff’s Office (Illinois)
  6. Indianapolis Metro PD (Indiana)
  7. Gary PD (Indiana)
  8. Boston PD (Massachusetts)
  9. Los Angeles PD (California)
  10. Phoenix PD (Arizona)
  11. Las Vegas PD (Nevada)
  12. Newport News PD (Virginia)
  13. Cincinnati PD (Ohio)
  14. Dayton PD (Ohio)
  15. Denver PD (Colorado)
  16. Nashville Metro PD (Tennessee)
  17. Seattle PD (Washington)
  18. Harris County Sheriff’s Office (Texas)
  19. F.B.I. and other federal agencies in collaboration with counties and municipalities

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has taken the lead in coordinating the nationwide sweeps as part of an on-going effort to highlight the role of sex buyers as perpetrators, while providing support for prostituted individuals through its Human Trafficking Response Team (HTRT). The HTRT is comprised of survivors of prostitution who work closely with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Officers trained to identify victims that have been led into prostitution out of desperation and survival. Victims are offered services and safe housing opportunities to assist them in leaving their current situation.

13 Victims that were prostituted/trafficked during the sweep were offered rescue and restore services by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office HTRT.

Charges include 6 felonies for enticing a minor under age 18 for arrests made by the Boston Police Department. Indianapolis Metropolitan PD arrested 36 of the 94 Johns during this sweep. Newest jurisdictions to join this growing national effort include the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas and the Gary Police Department in Indiana. The “National Day of Johns Arrests” collaboration was piloted in 2011 during Columbus Day weekend.

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 ( and Demand Abolition (

If you have further questions, below is a list of Public Information Officers from participating jurisdictions:

  • Director Frank Bilecki, Cook County IL Sheriff’s Office Director of External Affairs
  • Sue Olafson, Elgin IL PD Public Information Officer
  • Dan Ferrelli, Aurora IL PD Public Information Officer
  • Lou Thurston, New Port News VA PD Public Information Officer
  • Danita Kilgore, Cincinnati OH PD Public Information Officer
  • Officer Bill Cassell, Las Vegas NV PD Public Information Officer
  • Commander Andrew Smith, Los Angeles CA PD Public Information Officer
  • Sgt. Steve Martos, Phoenix AZ PD Public Information Officer
  • Cheryl Fiandaca, Boston, MA PD Public Information Officer
  • Det. Cayce Cantrell, Dayton OH PD Public Information Officer
  • Linda Jackson, Indianapolis IN PD Public Information Officer
  • Don Aaron, Nashville Metro PD TN Public Information Officer
  • Sonny Jackson, Denver PD CO Public Information Officer
  • Kimberly Mills, Seattle PD WA Public Information Officer
  • Christina Garza, Harris County Sheriff’s Office TX Public Information Officer
  • Corporal Gabrielle King, Gary PD IN Public Information Officer
  • Carol Edgar, Demand Abolition Campaign Public Information Officer