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Alpharetta is a city of roughly 65,000 residents located in the northern suburbs of Atlanta in Fulton County, Georgia. Reports of prostitution and sex trafficking activity in the community have occurred. For example, in 2016, Alpharetta police announced that an undercover prostitution sting had led them to a teenager being held against her will in a human trafficking operation. The operation began when police responded to an ad on Backpage.com; once communication with the prostituted person was established, an undercover detective arranged to meet the woman at a hotel off Mansell Road. The female offered sexual services to the detective in exchange for cash, but the detective soon discovered she was a 17-year-old high school student being held against her will. She had been driven there from North Carolina by a couple to be sexually exploited for money. The couple was arrested for human trafficking and booked into Fulton County jail. In a case in 2017, three Alpharetta men were charged with pandering and violating the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in connection to a now-defunct prostitution ring operating in DeKalb County. Two commercial sex organizations centered in the city operated as illegal escort services. An anonymous tip from a concerned citizen propelled law enforcement to embark on a months-long investigation leading to the identification of two “escort” organizations: Atlanta Gold Club Escorts and Lipstick and Shoes Escorts.
To address the myriad of problems with commercial sex markets, the Alpharetta Police Department has taken a proactive approach to target the demand for commercial sex, which is the underlying cause of all sex trafficking and prostitution. For example, in early February 2015, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Cook County, Illinois, announced the completion of the ninth annual National Day of Johns Arrests, a multi-jurisdictional effort to identify and arrest sex buyers. In a press release, the CCSO reported the names and arrest totals for each of the law enforcement agencies that participated in the initiative. Among the agencies listed was the Alpharetta Police Department, which reportedly arrested three sex buyers between January 25, 2015, and February 1, 2015, with the support of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. The logistical details of the APD operation– including the identities of the men arrested– were not disclosed to the public.
In April 2021, a Gainesville man was arrested on Venue Way for soliciting sex from an undercover deputy. He was later charged with prostitution and released on a $3,650 bond. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the man contacted the undercover female officer after seeing a social media post. He agreed to pay $200 for an hour-long “girlfriend experience” with the officer. He arranged to meet with the deputy at the Venue at Big Creek apartment complex, where he was arrested and taken into custody. At the time, he was out on bail for meth trafficking charges out of Dawson County. A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said the man’s arrest was not part of a sting operation.
- Alpharetta Police Department
- Georgia Attorney General’s Office
- “570 Sex Buyers Arrested in National Super Bowl Sting Operation,” Press Release, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, February 2 2015.
- https://www.pressreader.com/the-atlanta-journal-constitution (2017)
Arrest and Identity Disclosure of Sex Buyers:
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Law and Order: Alpharetta Man Jailed in Alleged Net Sex Ring,” Atlanta Journal and Atlanta Constitution, July 10 1998.
- “Internet Prostitution Ring Arrests,” Rome News-Tribune, June 20 1999.
- “In Your Community: North Fulton Casts Sharp Eye on Parlors; Alpharetta, Johns Creek Move toward Stronger Controls,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 17 2013.
- “Spa Owners in Alpharetta Ask City Council to Clarify Language of New Ordinance,” Alpharetta Neighbor, July 10 2013.
- “Alpharetta City Council Passes Massage Parlor Ordinance,” Alpharetta Neighbor, July 17 2013.
- https://www.wsbtv.com/2-arrested-in-undercover-prostitution-sting-at-alpharetta-hotel (2016)
- https://patch.com/alpharetta-roswell-men-charged-prostitution-bust (2017)