The Cook County Sheriff in Illinois (that's Chicago, folks) will stand in front of a podium in just a few minutes to announce a lawsuit against online classified site Craigslist, calling it "the single largest source of prostitution in the nation," according to news reports.
Last June, the department arrested 76 men and women on prostitution-related charges in a Craigslist sting. Undercover officers had posed as customers who scheduled "dates" with women listed in the "erotic services" ads on the site. The sting, called Operation Quiet Money, was a three-month investigation. In December 2007, four Chicago-area men were charged with using the site to run a prostitution ring that involved girls as young as 15.
A call to the sheriff's department confirmed that the press conference won't be webcast or broadcast. That's a shame - erotic services ads certainly aren't limited to the Chicago area listings. Craigslist ads are tailored for every major city in the nation (and a few minor ones, too) as well as some international cities. You would think that a sheriff taking on a big national problem like online prostitution (especially involving minors) would want to publicize his efforts on the very forum where the crimes are taking place - the Internet.
Instead, you'll need to be pretty much be standing in front of Sheriff Thomas Dart in Chicago today to hear what he has to say. I'll monitor news coverage and post a link to the press release once its issued (assuming they put it online and don't make me come to Chicago to pick one up.)