Biloxi is a city of approximately 45,000 residents, situated in southern Mississippi’s Harrison County near Gulfport. Prostitution activity, including cases of alleged sex trafficking of adults and minors and assaults on individuals selling sex, has been reported in the community for several years.
Though their efforts to target demand for prostitution appear limited, the Biloxi Police Department has conducted at least one local street-level reverse sting, and at least two web-based sting that resulted in the arrest of multiple men. In October 1995, BPD officers staged a street-level operation using a female undercover officer as a decoy, and intercepted 23 johns after the men attempted to purchase sex from her. It is unclear if the arrestees’ identities were disclosed to the public at the time of their arrests.
November, 2009, seventeen people were arrested for charges involving drugs and prostitution in Jackson County. The undercover string involved police agencies from all along the gulf coast and targeted escort service and individuals listed on Craig’s List. The agencies involved included the Biloxi Police, as well as the police departments of D’Iberville, Gulfport Police, and Ocean Springs, the Sheriff’s Offices of Jackson County and Harrison County, and the multi-jurisdictional Jackson County Narcotics Task Force All arrested agreed to sexual acts in exchange for money once they met undercover officers.
In June, 2012, Biloxi police arrested thirteen people in a prostitution sting. Seven men and six women were taken into custody for prostitution or solicitation, including men who drove the women to meet clients at a hotel. Several also faced misdemeanor drug charges.
- Biloxi Police Department
- Jackson County Sheriff’s Department
- Jackson County Narcotics Task Force
- Harrison County Sheriff’s Office
Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “Shopping for Sex Gets 23 People Carted off by Police,” Biloxi Sun Herald, October 31 1995.
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- https://www.wlox.com/story/11459886/17-arrested-in-craigs-list-prostitution-bust/ (2009)
- https://www.facebook.com/newsms.fm/posts/prostitution-sting-in-biloxifriday-29-junekeith-hillbiloxi-police-have-arrested-/318306114927767/ (2012)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Alleged Escort Service Owner Arrested in Biloxi,” ABC/WLOX-TV 13, December 2 2010.
- “Man Held in Child Porn, Prostitution Probe,” Biloxi Sun Herald, December 3 2010.
- “Suspect in Porn Case Says Computer Search Illegal,” Picayune Item, March 12 2011.
- “Gonsoulin to Stand Trial on Child-Porn Charge,” Charleston Gazette-Mail, March 18 2011.
- “Alleged Sex Traffickers Nabbed,” Biloxi Sun Herald, February 16 2012.
- “Man Pleads Not Guilty to Harboring Immigrants in Biloxi for Prostitution,” Biloxi Sun Herald, November 15 2012.
- “Couple Arrested in Biloxi Charged with Human Trafficking,” Biloxi Sun Herald, March 28 2013.
- “Illegal Alien Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking South Korean Women in Mississippi,” Press Release, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, March 29 2013.
- “Moonseop Kim Sentenced in Gulfport in Korean Prostitution Ring Case, Held for Deportation,” Mississippi News, May 22 2013.
- “‘CEO’ of Korean Prostitution Ring in Biloxi Agrees to Plead Guilty, Atlantic City Man Found after Biloxi Sting Operation,” Biloxi Sun Herald, July 10 2013.
- “Man Admits Conspiring to Harbor Women for Prostitution in Biloxi; 3 Women Were in U.S. Illegally, Worked as Prostitutes,” Biloxi Sun Herald, July 29 2013.
- “Biloxi Police Arrest Couple on Human Trafficking Charge, Pair Face Recently Stiffened Penalties in Human Trafficking,” Biloxi Sun Herald, August 16 2013.
- “Atlantic City Man Gets 15 Months in Prison for Running Prostitution Ring,” Newark Star-Ledger, November 12 2013.
- “Leader of Prostitution Ring Sentenced,” Trentonian, November 12 2013.
- “4 Arrested in Biloxi in Sex Trafficking of a Minor,” Biloxi Sun Herald, April 4 2014.
- “3 Accused of Human Trafficking in Biloxi,” Biloxi Sun Herald, October 31 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Sex Bust, 16 Face Charges in Multi-Agency Sting Targeting Escort Services,” Biloxi Sun Herald, November 20 2004.
- “Police Say Some Escort Agencies Serve as Prostitution Fronts, But These Two Insist: We Are Legit, ‘We Are Respectable Women with Respectable Jobs,'” Biloxi Sun Herald, November 21 2004.
- “Police: Ample Evidence, Charges on Escorts Will Hold up, Officers Say,” Biloxi Sun Herald, November 23 2004.
- “6 in Escort Case Fail to Appear,” Biloxi Sun Herald, January 25 2005.
- “Sex Bust Nets 11 Women, Drivers Were Propositioned,” Biloxi Sun Herald, September 29 2007.
- “13 Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Biloxi,” Biloxi Sun Herald, June 28 2012.
- “Former Biloxian Accused of Promoting Prostitution,” Biloxi Sun Herald, February 13 2014.
- http://www.wlox.com/story/11461606/17-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (Nov. 2009)
- http://blog.al.com/live/2009/11/17_arrested_in_craigs_list_pro.html (Nov. 2009)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Man Gets Probation for Assaulting Prostitute,” Biloxi Sun Herald, July 14 2010.