STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – Thirteen people have been arrested in an undercover operation to identify prostitutes and johns, the Statesboro Police Department announced Friday.
Statesboro’s Impact Team led the operation over the past two days at various motels around the city.
According to Statesboro Police, prostitution was a contributing factor in several robberies (of both the prostitutes themselves or of their clients) and at least one homicide.
“What we tend to find is places where prostitution is solicited and performed and those kinds of things they tend to be a magnet for other kinds of crimes,” said Captain Jared Akins with the SPD’s Operations Bureau. “Whether that be drug sales or whether that be robberies or even shootings and things more significant than that.”
Captain Akins tells News 3 the key to these operations is catching the criminal in the act and monitoring social media.
“We would have undercover officers in those same forums on those same social media platforms,” said Akins. “Using them to essentially set up either someone to bring a person to a location for the purposes of prostitution or offering their own services to potential clients.”
During these operations, officers are also looking for signs of human trafficking. Often times vulnerable people are forced into prostitution.
However, in this case, all were screened and no evidence of trafficking was found.
“We do hope at some point and time to be able to recover someone who is a victim of human trafficking,” said Akins. “That’s a big thing now and we know it comes through Georgia whether that be Savannah, Atlanta, or even through a smaller place like here.”
The 13 individuals arrested face charges for a variety of offenses:
- Baldwin, O’Darien (18 years old, East Parrish Street, Statesboro); 1 count of Prostitution
- Baskin-Blackmon, Latoya (32 years old, East Parrish Street, Statesboro); 1 count of Prostitution
- Bonnette, Rodger (44 years old, Bonnette Road, Portal); 1 count Pandering, 1 count Possession of Marijuana less than one ounce, 1 count Driving while License Suspended
- Brantley, Daniel Logan (31 years old, Briarcliff Road, Swainsboro); 1 count Pandering
- Brown, Fredrick (47 years old, Dixie Grove Circle, Metter); 1 count Pandering
- Goodwin, Kenneth (25 years old, Lanier Drive, Statesboro); 1 count Pandering
- Hunt, Kristie (45 years old, Highway 24, Statesboro); 1 count Prostitution
- Hurley, Quesonne (37 years old, East Olliff Street, Statesboro); 1 count Pandering, 1 count Possession of Marijuana less than one ounce
- Jennings, Amy (39 years old, East Main Street, Statesboro); 1 count Prostitution, 1 count Sexual Battery, 1 count Possession/Use of a Drug Related Object, 1 count Obstruction
- Kea, Dennis (26 years old, Teal Circle, Statesboro); 1 count Prostitution
- Patel, Divyangkumar (24 years old, Sandalwood Drive, Statesboro); 1 count Pandering
- Rozier, Shequille (25 years old, 2nd Street, Dublin); 1 count Pandering
- Young, Nathan (34 years old, North Tillman Street, Glennville); 1 count Pandering
Officials hope the arrests from the undercover operation will deter prostitutes and their clients from participating in activities that can lead to more serious crimes.
Information on possible human trafficking should immediately be reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at www.humantraffickinghotline.org, texting the Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733, or by calling toll free at 1-888-373-7888.