Did Marion Police Use Craigslist to Uncover Sex Trafficking?
Police have not said which website they used to for a big prostitution sting, but they've offered what sounds like a big hint.
When the Linn County Sheriff's department announced the end of a prostitution sting that led to 40 arrests last Friday, they gave a cryptic answer to what website police officers used to pose as prostitutes.
"If you want to sell a lawnmower, you go to a certain site," Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner said to the Gazette. "If you want to find a prostitute, you go to the same site."
As a person who has grown up, and seemingly inside, the Internet, this seems like a clear hint to me: Craiglist.
Craiglist is a popular site that allows users to post the online equivalent of classified ads, for people seeking bicycles, jobs, dates, discussions and yes, lawnmowers.
It's also received a lot of negative press for not effectively policing it's site from prostitution and has gained a somewhat seedy reputation since then.
Of course, this is a just a guess. Police aren't releasing information on this detail of the investigation, and other websites are also used for prostitution. For example in May, police released details about a sex trafficking ring that used Backpage.com.
What do you think? Have you seen any strange activity on our local Craigslist page?