Faulkner County is located in Central Arkansas, and has a population of about 113,000. Conway is the county seat, and its population of over 65,000 accounted for over half the county’s residents. The county is located in the state’s most populous metropolitan statistical area, near Little Rock, and has long-running problems associated with commercial sex activity, and during prostitution operations police often seize drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and un-prescribed pharmaceuticals. For example, in July 2017, police received a tip in reference to an underage female being sold for prostitution in the central Arkansas area. An investigation was initiated, and Faulkner County Sheriff investigators arrested a man when he arrived at a predetermined location in Conway, with an underage female found to be a runaway from the Pulaski County area.
Among the tactics used to address prostitution in the city are those targeting demand. For example, in March, 2016 a public defender for Sebastian County was arrested by Faulkner County Police during an online sex sting. According to the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office, he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to commit rape. The suspect began communicating online with an undercover investigator in February. Communication continued and he agreed to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact with a juvenile in exchange for money. An affidavit details that the suspect placed an ad searching for contact with a “young guy” or “son.” Communication moved from email to the Kik messenger app, and arrangements to meet in Conway were made, but then the plans changed to meeting at a Fort Smith hotel. The suspect is said to have believed that he was meeting with an adult male and his 13-year-old son. As soon as the suspect arrived at the hotel, he was taken into custody, and his vehicle was impounded.
In August 2017, police arrested nine men in a prostitution sting in the county. The undercover investigation took place at an undisclosed location, the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The identities of the arrested men were included in news releases. At least seven of the men were later released from Faulkner County jail on bail. The aim of the operation was to reduce demand for prostitution as well as other crimes, the sheriff’s office said.
- Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Shaming:
- https://5newsonline.com/sex-sting-leads-to-arrest-of-sebastian-county-public-defender/ (2016)
- http://www.arkansasonline.com/9-men-arrested-prostitution-sting-arkansas-authori/ (2017)
- https://www.thv11.com/9-arrested-in-faulkner-county-prostitution-sting (2017)
- http://katv.com/news/sheriffs-office-9-arrested-after-undercover-prostitution-investigation (2017)
- http://www.kark.com/9-arrests-in-faulkner-co-prostitution-sting (2017)
- http://www.thecabin.net/fcso-nabs-9-thursday-night-prostitution-sting (2017)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- http://www.thecabin.net/news/2016-10-18/cpd-fbi-arrest-6-prostitution-sting (2016)
- http://rosterhome.blogspot.com/2016/10/shauna-gabrielle-harrelson-charged-with.html (2016)
- http://www.foxsportscamden.com/little-rock-man-promoting-prostitution-with-minor/ (2017)
- http://www.fox16.com/news/local-news/lr-man-arrested-for-promoting-prostitution-of-underage-runaway-girl (2017)