Laramie County D.A.: FBI Called In To Fight Sex Trafficking
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
Sandberg says the federal agency played a role in a couple of big prostitution busts in the city, one occurring during Cheyenne Frontier Days and the second this past weekend.
He says that local law enforcement agencies stopped making sex trafficking investigations a priority in recent years, although he says his office would still prosecute such cases when they happened to come to light.
"It wasn't a major investigation arm of either of our major agencies (Cheyenne Police and the Laramie County Sheriff's Department). Nobody can quite remember when they stopped doing that," Sandburg said.
He said local enforcement efforts such as the police Vice Squad went by the wayside as sex trafficking was de-emphasized as a priority "and they kind of forgot how to even do it."
But Sandburg says Cheyenne Police contacted the Denver office of the FBI earlier this year for help in sex trafficking enforcement, adding the FBI doesn't get involved in those kind of local investigations unless they are invited in.
He says the federal agency coordinated their efforts with local law enforcement during both prostitution ring busts in the city in recent months.
The most recent case featured a sting operation that was set up at Candlewood Suites in Cheyenne and used websites to allow people to set up agreements to pay for certain sex acts.
Ten people were arrested as part of Operation Cross Country X on Friday night, with the local arrests being just one part of the national operation.
Cheyenne police spokesman John Gay says across the country 82 minors were rescued and 239 pimps were arrested. But he says no minors were found in the Cheyenne enforcement effort.