Memphis police arrest four for prostitution near school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis police arrest four for prostitution near elementary school

(WMC-TV) - An Internet prostitution sting led to a series of arrests less than a mile and a half from Shelby Oaks Elementary School.

Edmond Burns, Amanda Flanigan, Angel Moon and Amanda Ray are charged with prostitution near a school or church.  The Memphis Organized Crime Unit spent hours taking in the suspects Friday night.

"We do need to have communities be safe for our children," said Rev. Gail Gaddie of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church.

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church is across the street from the school.

"We've been a part of what is called the community for shalom to try to look at the neighborhood with other churches in the neighborhood to see what we can do to be more proactive for our children and youth," said Gaddie.

Officers set up the sting operation in room 307 at the Baymont Motel on Shelby Oaks Drive Friday night.  They responded to unrelated escort ads on the Memphis Backpage website.

Police said the arrests came when the suspects identified they were there to offer sex in exchange for money.

Gaddie said the elementary and school children are only one concern.  Good Shepherd United Methodist Church houses a school for mentally challenged adults.

"I also thought about those who turn to that and what happened to them," said Gaddie.  "What has cause them to turn to that as a means of livelihood even?"

If prostitution happens less than 100 feet from a church or less than 1.5 miles from a school, the usual six month sentence can double.

Gaddie shared a message of change for the suspects.

"We would want to be open and to be accessible," said Gaddie.  "You do not have to continue in the way that you are.  That's the message of the cross and that's the message of Easter."

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