(WMC-TV) – A weekend sting at a popular downtown hotel landed a number of suspected prostitutes behind bars after Memphis police officers responded to their classified ads online.
None of the accused prostitutes wanted to speak in depth about the allegations, which are more serious because of the Hampton Inn's proximity to an elementary school.
Officers were trolling the personals on backpage.com, which is a website Action News 5 exposed during a special report last year.
"Before Craigslist had a lot of pressure placed on them, a lot of the ads were on Craigslist," said sex trafficking expert Ryan Dalton. "They have since moved to Backpage."
According to police reports, each woman arrested this weekend agreed to meet the undercover officer in room 423 after he placed a call to numbers advertised on the Internet.
Latera Larry, 24, told Action News 5 she plans to fight charges that she accepted $360 to perform a number of sex acts. Other defendants are accused of accepting less, for more limited services.
Visitors to Beale Street were happy to hear that police were cleaning things up.
"Someone doing something like that, I mean, that's not right," said one visitor.
The Hampton Inn's general manager was not aware of the undercover operation but welcomed the crackdown on prostitution.