Michael R. Kent
Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Monday, Feb. 12, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Burlington Police Department Continues Efforts to Reduce Sex Trafficking
Through National Operation, More Than 630 Sex Buyers and Pimps/Traffickers Charged
BURLINGTON, Mass. — Police Chief Michael R. Kent announces that the Burlington Police Department is making significant strides in its effort to combat human sex trafficking, and earlier this month participated in a series of coordinated sting operations that led to more than 630 arrests across the nation.
Burlington Police were part of the 15th National Johns Suppression Initiative operation that ran from Jan. 7 through Feb. 4 and included more than 30 law enforcement agencies across 16 states. Through this operation, Burlington Police arrested five men after conducting a reverse sting operation at a local hotel that targeted potential customers for prostitution.
As with several similar operations conducted in the past, this month’s investigation was done in an effort to stop human trafficking and disrupt the relentless cycle of harm caused by the sex trade. Over the last six years, the Burlington Police Department has made more than 46 arrests at local hotels through undercover prostitution stings.
“The Burlington Police Department is committed to conducting these sting operations to prevent human trafficking incidents at our area businesses,” Chief Kent said. “We know that this is not a victimless crime and we’ll continue to work locally, along with our regional and national partners to put an end to these cyclical crimes.”
Burlington, with a population of 25,000, is also home to a large and diverse commercial base, with tens of thousands of commuters coming to work here each day. It is also at or near the intersections of three major highways north of Boston and has a large hospitality industry as a result.
The growth of Burlington’s hotel industry — eight hotels online or in development — has spurred economic opportunities for the town and its business base, but with this growth has come an increase in crime. Recently, there have been several assaults and robberies, two confirmed cases of human trafficking and the discovery of a drug lab in a Burlington hotel.
Burlington Police also assisted in the conviction of two men last year for the murder of a woman at the Extended Stay America Hotel who had arranged to meet them through a site advertising adult services. As a result, hotel leadership has become a vital partner for law enforcement in preventing violent crimes from occurring.
Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart first started the National Johns Suppression Initiative operation in 2011 and since then, Cook County Sheriff’s Police and participating agencies from across the country have arrested more than 8,200 would-be sex buyers.
Nationwide results from this month’s operation representing the 15th semi-annual NJSI operation are as follows:
- 638 sex solicitation arrests (sex buyers)
- 18 sex trafficking arrests
- $755,490 in minimum possible fines
- 12 adult victims recovered
- 3 juveniles recovered