WJTV News Channel 12 - Local Authorities Crack Down on Prostitution

Local Authorities Crack Down on Prostitution

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Between the Ridgeland Police Department and Rankin County Sheriff's Department, almost 30 pimps and prostitutes are behind bars.

"They were in the car while her mother was... offering services," says Lt. John Neal with Ridgeland Police. It was a shocking find for police. A two and a four year old were left sitting in the car, one mother was the pimp while the other's mother was inside a local hotel offering services as a prostitute. It's just one of the situations police found in their sex trafficking sting.

"We conducted stings and several local hotel rooms where we had undercover officers in those rooms who'd be responsible for making calls to potential prostitutes in the hope of bringing in underage girls."

According to Neal, the 12 suspects arrested were all of age.  Arrests were made at the Holiday Inn Express on Frontage Road and I-55 and the Econo Lodge on Ridgewood Road. According to the FBI those are prime places for prostitution.

"Eight of those arrests were for actual prostitution, where we actually got the girls themselves. We had four additional arrest for the charge of promoting prostitution."

Prostitution is a misdemeanor. However, promoting prostitution, which is considered a pimp, is a felony.

"There were a couple of them that were probably part of organized ring but several of them were out operating on their own." Neal says there was evidence of drug use but no narcotics were found.

In Rankin County, police arrested 14 suspects while assisting the FBI in the child sex trafficking bust. During the two day operation 11 prostitutes and three pimps were arrested.

The children left waiting in the car were brought to the police department where a local family member was contacted. Police say DHS will do follow up visits.

Also in an effort to crack down on prostitution in the Metro, Jackson police along with the FBI makes eight pimp and prostitute arrests.

The operation was geared towards finding underage juveniles who were forced into prostitution.

Friday and Saturday Jackson Police arrested several individuals on soliciting for prostitution, possession of marijuana and cocaine with paraphernalia.

Along with the 8 arrested---a 17 year old girl was charged with soliciting for prostitution.

All arrests were made at different hotels on the I-55 corridor.

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