Nearly 450 people responded to sex ads in a single-day sex trafficking operation that netted 21 people in the Fort Collins area, authorities said Monday.
The Fort Collins Police Department and Larimer County Sheriff's Office set up the operation to target prostitution rings in the area.
The police department says that officers put ads in commonly-used sex websites, and on the single day of the operation, officers received 444 responses.
Twenty-one people set up appointments to meet with who they thought were sex workers, but were actually officers. They were cited by the officers after arriving to hotels for the scheduled meet-ups.
Police say the people cited had planned to spend nearly $3,000.
The law enforcement agencies have been working with two local programs, Free Our Girls and the First Offender Restoration Initiative, to help victims of sex trafficking rebuild their lives, and help first-time "johns" to get away from prostitution.
"Many citizens don't believe prostitution or human trafficking is an issue in Northern Colorado. Operations like this indicate otherwise," said FCPS Officer Rob Knab, a member of the Neighborhood Enforcement Team who focuses on regional human trafficking issues.
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