authorities in California had been investigating Carl Ferrer for three years and brought information to officials in Texas several months ago. Backpage hosts ads for “escort services”, essentially operating as an online brothel and generating millions of dollars off the illegal sex trade. “Backpage and its executives purposefully and unlawfully designed Backpage to be the world’s top online brothel. Thank you to the California Department of Justice Special Agents, investigators, attorneys, and our partners in law enforcement who have worked tirelessly to bring the operators of this online brothel to justice and protect thousands of victims of trafficking,” the statement of California Department of Justice repeated.
Backpage is the single largest advertiser of adult escort services in the United States. The site made $2 million per month in advertisements from October 2014 to May 2015. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported 2,900 cases of suspected child sex trafficking on Backpage.