13 arrested in undercover prostitution sting over weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

13 arrested in undercover prostitution sting

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Jason Medica, resident agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in Savannah Jason Medica, resident agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in Savannah
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Thirteen people have been arrested on charges related to prostitution after a Backpage.com sting over the weekend.

The website allows people to post products and services for sale on the website. 

Agents with the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security told WTOC about the undercover operation.

Agent said that people advertising their services under the guise of an escort and that once officers and agents made contact with these people, it was clear to them what was for sale - sex.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations conducted a two-day sting Friday and Saturday. The operation targeted hotels listed in ads posted on Backpage.com.

Backpage.com has been under fire in the past, making national headlines. For years prosecutors have been demanding that the site take down it's "adult" section. They claim the site is a hub for sex traffickers. 

Five females were arrested and charged with prostitution for attempting to perform sex acts in exchange for cash, according to police. Police said they were operating at hotels along Highway 204 near Interstate 95 and the Midtown area.   

"Backpage.com they offer these services where people can post escort, body rub and other types of services when the real intent is prostitution," said Jason Medica, resident agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in Savannah. 

Two men and six women were arrested and charged with escorting without a license at hotels throughout Chatham County.

 

"We're out there all the time trying to see if at the grassroots level, we have a victim based approach to these investigations. Are these prostitutes, are they victims of human trafficking? So that's why we went out there and did this investigation. Because if they were we wanted to offer them services and try to get them out of the game so to speak," Medica said. 

Savannah Working Against Human Trafficking assisted in the operation. 
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