Sex trafficking operation busted at Super 8 in Lakeland

Super 8 Motel in Lakeland (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Super 8 Motel in Lakeland (Source: WMC Action News 5)

LAKELAND, TN (WMC) - Shelby County deputies busted a sex trafficking operation at a Lakeland Super 8 Motel on Tuesday afternoon.

A 19-year-old girl was rescued from the motel; she said she was held against her will and forced into prostitution for days.

For three days, the 19-year-old was held captive at the motel by a man and a woman. Tuesday afternoon, while she was alone in the motel room, she seized the moment to call 911 and her mother for help.

The motel owner said the man and woman checked in on Sunday and paid in cash for the room. The owner was unaware of what was allegedly happening in the second-floor room on the back side of the motel.

Rachel Haaga, the executive director of Restore Corps, said it's a crime many are unaware of, but it happens almost daily in Memphis.

"We definitely have a problem. A lot of people are working strategically and passionately to fix it, but there are youth and adults trafficked in our city a minimum of every week, if not every day," Haaga said.

She said the victims often know their capturer.

"A lot of times a young girl especially will leave with someone she knows, and eventually figures out that it's not a situation that shes wants to be in," Haaga said.

Deputies arrested Darius Hunt on trafficking charges and Anna Stuckey on outstanding warrants.

Hunt is charged with aggravated kidnapping, false imprisonment, and trafficking for commercial act. Stuckey is charged with theft of property and violation of probation.

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