A human trafficking and prostitution sting operation between federal, state and local law enforcement yielded multiple arrests during this year’s New York State Fair, according Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick. Many of the women arrested apparently became involved in prostitution because of drug addictions.
Eighteen people were arrested for prostitution and nine people were arrested for promoting prostitution in a five-day sting during the New York State Fair, Fitzpatrick said. Police had a secure location under surveillance. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said sex traffickers go to where the people are, especially tourists with cash, making the fair a target.
“The reality is that sex trafficking is not limited to big border cities," Fitzpatrick said. "It is something that is occurring right here in our homeland. It is our children that are getting hooked onto drugs, winding up with unsavory individuals and then selling their bodies to support that habit. Once they become addicted, they wind up in the company of these men who are masters at taking advantage of them.”
Fitzpatrick said based on the number of people arrested and the number of young women involved, prostitution is a problem locally. He also said the alleged prostitutes will be prosecuted differently than those charged with promoting prostitution including the possibility of reduced sentences. More sting operations similar to this one are being planned.