FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Five men were arrested and one cited for solicitation of a prostitute during an undercover operation Friday, Fort Collins Police Services said.
The operation began with Neighborhood Enforcement Team officers posting ads in the escort sections of popular Internet sites like Backpage and Craigslist.
When prospective clients responded to the ads, officers posing as prostitutes arranged appointments at a local hotel.
The men, expecting to exchange money for various sexual acts, arrived to find an empty room. Upon leaving, they were greeted by officers waiting outside, police said.
The five arrested in the sting were Wil Alfredo Concepion, 48; Thomas Patrick Dempsey, 26; Nicholas Alexander Winfrey, 34; Kenneth Robert Miller, 23; and Fernando Caballero, 24.
Authorities said the purpose of the undercover operations is to make Fort Collins a difficult market for soliciting or selling sex as prostitution is often connected with sex trafficking, illegal drug usage and sales, and violent crimes.
“We’ve definitely noticed a decrease in prostitution activity since we’ve started conducting these operations,” NET Officer Annie Hill said.
Police said they plan to continue enforcement efforts and will adapt their approach as the underground marketplace evolves.