CHICAGO AP A sting operation led by an Illinois sheriff, who once went after a website that allowed for prostitution, ended on Super Bowl Sunday with the arrests of hundreds of men around the United States who did not realize the online they were responding to had been posted by police. In all, the ninth ''National Day of Johns Arrests'' resulted in the arrests of men.
Of those, were taken into custody after answering fake placed in Back. Another 40 were arrested as a result of fake posted on Craigslist.
Among the police departments to participate was the one in Phoenix, just a few miles from where the Super Bowl was played - and where authorities say officers arrested 22 so-called johns as well as several women who told police they'd been trafficked to the area in the days leading up to the big football game. The day after the game, Phoenix officers announced they'd arrested former Hall of Fame lineman Warren Sapp on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute, though Dart's office said the arrest was not a result of the sting.
Dart said the sting was successful because investigators used the same technology the sex trade has increasingly relied on.
This year's operation - the ninth one since Dart launched it four years ago - was the largest yet. It lasted about two weeks before ending the day of the Super Bowl and involved 37 law enforcement agencies in 17 states.
The sheriff sued Craigslist in for running what he called the ''largest source of prostitution in America. The arrests from the latest sting bring the total arrests the operation has netted since the first one in to more than 2, The operation also resulted in 23 suspects being charged with pimping, sex trafficking or promoting prostitution. A news release from Dart's office said 68 women and juveniles who were victims of human trafficking were ''rescued.
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