Undercover deputies say shutdown of Backpage.com won’t stop human trafficking

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DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. – A popular classified website has been shut down by the federal government and the founder has been arrested on multiple charges.

The FBI and Department of Justice shut down Backpage.com last week. On the website is a popup box that reads "backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized."

Even though this is a big step in the fight against the sex trade, some undercover officers who work with human trafficking victims said it won't stop criminals from selling sex online.

One year ago, FOX59 reported when Backpage.com removed the adult services section from the website. Deputies said it still didn't stop people from soliciting sex online.

"On the women seeking men tab, there were no normal people seeking a relationship. It was 100% people wanting sex for money," a deputy said.

After the announcement of the site being seized by federal authorities, deputies said it to took only hours for some criminals to move their operations to other websites.

"The amount of money that's being generated from these girls, the guys aren't going to let one website ruin all their money that's coming in," the deputy said.

Investigators are already working cases on those new websites. They said the only way to stop trafficking for good is to stop the demand of paying for sex.

"The only thing we can do is do our best to get the juveniles and the people that are being forced to do it out of this game."

The company's founder was indicted on 93 counts. Investigators said in the 14 years Backpage.com was in operation, the company made $500 million.

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