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Winder is a city of about Barrow County is a county of approximately 19,000 residents, located about 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia (near Athens). Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints from residents and businesses. For example, in 2006, three people were arrested and faced prostitution charges in Winder after police raided an “intimate apparel” store that functioned as a brothel. Police launched an undercover investigation into possible illegal activity at the business when residents started complaining to Mayor. Authorities started watching the business and sent in officers posing as customers. Winder police wrapped up the three-month investigation after executing a search warrant that led to the arrests two women on prostitution charges and a man on charges of pimping and keeping a place of prostitution.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, in May 2012, the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office conducted a web-based reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of four male sex buyers. Officers placed a decoy advertisement to Backpage.com, offering commercial sex. When men responded to the listing and arranged to meet with an undercover female officer at a motel in Winder, they were arrested by Barrow County deputies. The names, ages, and towns of residence of those arrested were released to the public.
- Barrow County Sheriff’s Office
Web-based Reverse Stings:
- “Gwinnett Cop Resigns, Charged in Prostitution Sting”, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 12 2012.
- “Ex-Gwinnett Police Spokesman Charged with Soliciting Prostitute”, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 12 2012.
- https://www.onlineathens.com/barrow-county-sex-sting-nets-five-arrests-winder (2012)
- https://www.wsbradio.com/gwinnett-officer-busted-prostitution-sting/ (2012)
- https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/gwinnett-officer-charged-soliciting-prostitute (2012)
- http://barrow.patch.com/undercover-pandering-and-prostitution-investigation-results-in-four-arrests (2013)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.augustachronicle.com/story/news/lingerie store prostitution bust (2006)
- https://www.waltontribune.com/news/woman sold sex online (2011)
- https://patch.com/barrow-county-sheriffs-office-assists-in-prostitution (2012)
- https://www.mainstreetnews.com/barrow/winder-man-arrested-for-prostitution-solicitation (2019)
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