Longview Police Execute Prostitution Sting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/05/10-Longview

Longview Police Execute Prostitution Sting

     Stopping the illegal practice of prostitution has been an ongoing battle for some east Texas law enforcement, and spawned another sting operation by Longview law enforcement agencies today. 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, and that's the focus of these kinds of operations" says sergeant Seth Vanover of the Longview police and sting team leader.

    Not knowing who the suspects are, the team stays close to the female officers, in order to move quickly if necessary.

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

   The takedown of a suspect hinges on a deal being made, an agreed price. And the team moves in overwhelming numbers to quickly overwhelm the suspect.

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

   Some of the arrests were startling, one man turned out to be an administrator to an area hospital. Another was an ice cream salesman. And yet another is a registered sex offender. 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" Vanover says.

    Over a dozen arrests were made today, with all of those arrested being charged with solicitation of prostitution. By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

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