Forrest City is city of about 14,000 residents located in the northeastern part of Arkansas, and serves as the county seat of St. Francis County. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding region. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.
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 November 2018 a man was arrested in Forrest City as a result of a reverse sting operation by the First Judicial District Drug Task Force. The man had communicated with undercover investigators to arrange to by sex with what he believed was a 14 year old child, and he had encouraged her to prostitute herself so he could acquire a “modeling fee”. The 58 year old Memphis resident used his social media account to correspond with undercover investigators posing as a 14 year old female, telling the child that he was “rich” and had multiple businesses in Memphis including an escort service. The man arranged to meet the child at the Forrest City Walmart to meet the child to complete the transaction, and was arrested and then charged by the First Judicial Drug Task Force with Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree, 5-70-104, a Class D Felony and Internet Stalking of a Child, 5-27-306, a Class B Felony. The man’s identity was included in news releases.
- First Judicial District Drug Task Force
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- https://wreg.com/2018/11/26/man-accused-of-threatening-to-kill-clerk-arrested-for-traveling-to-have-sex-with-minor/ (2018)
- https://www.kait8.com/2018/11/27/memphis-man-arrested-forrest-city-promoting-prostitution/ (2018)
- https://katv.com/news/local/memphis-man-accused-of-traveling-to-arkansas-to-have-sex-with-child (2018)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: