|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Goose Creek is a city of roughly 46,000 residents, located northwest of North Charleston in Berkeley County, SC. As in the neighboring communities of Ladson, Hanahan and Summerville, the city has reported problems with chronic street prostitution activity in certain areas. Among the more serious issues associated with the city’s commercial sex market is international sex trafficking. For example, in 2019, federal and local authorities discovered a sex trafficking operation within a Goose Creek home. According to reports, numerous women were transported internationally from Mexico and across state lines for purposes of sex trafficking. The residence where the women were staying was located across the street from the local high school. The investigation vegan after a tip was reported to police by an anonymous informant. The woman in charge of the sex trafficking operation was arrested on numerous sex trafficking charges. In addition, the offender reported to officials that she had been illegal transported into the United States and was using the sex trafficking operation as a way to repay the debt she owed the man who brought her into the US. Officials said surveillance operations found that two vehicles each containing an older woman and a younger woman made short stops at various locations in a manner consistent with that of an international sex trafficking operation. Officials issued the woman suspected to be in charge of the operation a warning citation for the improper lane change and for an expired registration. Authorities said a check two days later showed that there were no records for the two passengers having legal status in the United States. Following numerous other surveillance operations, ICE agents said there was probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant for the Goose Creek home. Authorities stated they they seized several items, including condoms, lubricant and “miscellaneous documents.”
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 in Goose Creek. For example, in August of 2015, deputies with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office arrested 12 male sex buyers in a street-level reversal using female police decoys in the community. In May 2016, BCSO deputies partnered with Hanahan Police Department officers to conduct a second street-level reversal, resulted in the arrest of 11 male sex buyers for soliciting prostitution and five additional offenders on drug and arrest warrant charges in Goose Creek, Hanahan and Ladson. Nine of those arrested were reportedly picked up in Hanahan, with the remainder of arrests occurring in Goose Creek and Ladson. Following both the 2015 and 2016 investigations, all of the offenders’ identities and images were included in reports by local media outlets. In October, 2019, authorities announced the arrest of 12 people in a prostitution sting in Goose Creek Police Department. The men were found to be soliciting prostituted persons for an unlawful transaction of sex in exchange for drugs and/or money.
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Berkeley County Deputies Arrest 13 in Prostitution Soliciting Sting,” CBS/WCSC-TV 5, August 17 2015.
- Berkeley County Deputies Arrest 13 Men in Prostitution Sting (2015)
- 16 Arrested in Berkeley County for Solicitation of Prostitution, Other Charges (2016)
- 16 Arrested in Undercover Berkeley Prostitution Sting (2016)
- https://abcnews4.com/news/local/bcso-12-men-arrested-in-prostitution-sting-in-goose-creek (2019)
- https://www.counton2.com/12-arrested-for-involvement-in-prostitution-sting-in-berkeley-county/ (2019)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.live5news.com/feds-woman-ran-prostitution-ring-goose-creek-home-used-illegal-immigrants-sex-work/ (2019)
- https://abcnews4.com/ice-goose-creek-woman-ran-prostitution-business-with-suspected-undocumented-women (2019)
- https://www.live5news.com/dozen-people-arrested-prostitution-sting-berkeley-county/ (2019)
- https://www.postandcourier.com/suspected-sexual-predators-caught-in-the-creek/ (2020)
- https://www.postandcourier.com/trafficking-suspected-inside-goose-creek-home (2023)