Longview police make numerous arrests in prostitution sting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview police make numerous arrests in prostitution sting

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Stopping the illegal practice of prostitution has been an ongoing battle for some East Texas law enforcement, spawning numerous sting operations each year. Friday, Longview police went under cover.

"Ok, y'all go get him everybody else stay put," said the officer.

Working along Highway 80 in unmarked vehicles, using undercover police women and even officers dressed as street people, the sting team set the trap for customers soliciting prostitution.

"If you solicit any kind of prostitution in the City of Longview, specifically out here, you're going to be caught," said Sergeant Seth Vanover, with Longview police.

Not knowing who the suspects are, the team stayed close to the female officers.

"Our main key on an operation like this is officer safety," explained Vanover. "At all times we're going to have eyes on our undercover officers."

The takedown hinges on a deal being made. Agreed on a price, and they quickly overwhelm the suspect.

"We may make 20 arrests but we may talk to 60 men in one night," said Vanover.

Some of the arrests were startling. One man was an administrator to an area hospital. Another was an ice cream salesman. One man was a registered sex offender.

"While both of the Longview hospitals applaud the police department's efforts to clean up our city...the individual has no affiliation with either Longview Regional Medical Center or Good Shepherd Medical Center," Longview Regional Medical Center CEO, Jim Kendrick.

In the end, they end up shackled and even have their cars impounded.

"Any and everybody can be arrested and has been arrested in an operation like this," said Vanover.

Over a dozen arrests were made Friday, with all of those arrested being charged with solicitation to prostitution.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly