Police use advertisements in prostitution bust - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police use advertisements in prostitution bust

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis police expanded their efforts to stop illegal prostitution over the weekend, taking suspects into custody thanks to advertisements found online and in local publications.

Lindsay Spencer and Karen Leonard were charged, along with four others, after the undercover operation.

"It evolves as technology has evolved and they're getting smarter with it," Sgt. Lambert Ross of the Memphis Police Department said. "So we've got to do the same thing."
 
After noticing new sex ad trends, investigators not only scanned the internet, including Craigslist personals and an escort website, they even found illegal sex ads in legitimate newspapers, including the Memphis Flyer and the Commercial Appeal.

One ad goes so far as to promote a new venue opening its doors on Winchester.  So, investigators answered the ads.

"The aggressiveness of the vice officers on the streets is pushing more people into trying to do thing that are more subtle," Ross said.
 
Undercover officers nabbed one woman in Unit 3 of the Winchester Office Plaza, located right across the street from a church with a school.  Because most of the rendezvous happened near either a church or school, they carry a mandatory $1,000 and a week in jail, if convicted."
 
"That also depends on prior arrests they've had as far as prostitution," Ross said.

The six women were arrested on Airways, Poplar, Sycamore View and Winchester.

"Locally, to advertise private modeling sessions in a daily paper, that's what really just catches you," Ross said.

Ross added it's no secret the 'oldest profession' will keep going on, but he says Memphis Police will keep working to stop it.

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