Southaven Police Chief hopes prostitution sting sends message - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven Police Chief hopes prostitution sting sends message

By Daniel Hight - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS - (WMC-TV) - An undercover prostitution sting operation in Southaven, Mississippi busted five suspected prostitutes and six men.

Police Chief Tom Long hopes to send the message that Southaven will not tolerate prostitution.

"We are going to make these arrests," said Long. "We're not going to write them a citation and cut them loose. We're going to arrest them, book them, and process them and put them through our court."

Over the weekend undercover police officers used classified ads posted on backpage.com to invite suspected prostitutes and customers into Southaven. They met at various Southaven motels and hotels.

"They'll come down and once money is arranged for sexual activity, they'll make the arrest," said the chief.

Southaven police charged five people with prostitution: Tyrone Terry Carlisle, Tarqueshia Raquel Dunlap, Ebony Nicole Mitchell, Stephanie Lucille Rodriguez, and Morgan Zade Watkins.

Six men were charged with soliciting prostitutes: Fred Anthony Allen, Amonte Devine, Bode Popola, Lipan Shire, Eric Eugene Turner, and Jason Dewayn Turner.

Long said the prostitution sting is an effort to scare the illegal activity out of Southaven.

"We have no street walking section," said Long. "We don't have people walking up and down the streets and its never been a problem for us."

And Long hopes to keep it that way.

"Anywhere you have prostitution you have drugs, you have theft, you have other crimes constantly being committed," said Long.

A proactive approach, according to the chief, keeps the trouble elsewhere.

"Nothing would make us happier than the next time we rented some rooms and got on the internet and couldn't find anybody to come down," Long said. "We would think we were doing a great job."

Chief Long said nearly half those invited for prostitution would not come to Southaven. He is optimistic that this strategy is working.

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