Huntsville, AL

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Huntsville is a city in northern central Alabama. It is the state’s fourth-largest city, with a population of approximately 180,000.  Many problems related to prostitution have been reported in the city, including multiple sexual assaults and murders of prostituted women, the murder of an alleged pimp in 2013, and the murder of a sex buyer who responded to an online advertisement offering prostitution at a Huntsville apartment complex in 2012.

Although the Huntsville Police Department has, in recent years, targeted prostituted women more frequently than sex buyers, the department has occasionally deployed reverse stings since at least 1992. More recently, a 2005 street-level reverse sting resulted in the arrest of 20 men in the West Huntsville neighborhood known as Lowe Mill Village. The identities of the arrested offenders were not released to the public.  In August 2018, Huntsville police conducted a street-level reverse sting and arrested five men.  All were charged with soliciting prostitution, and their photos and names were included in news releases.

In March 2019, Huntsville police conducted an undercover operation that arrested six men for soliciting prostitution. Three men were picked up in the area of Triana Boulevard and Drake Avenue, and the other three were arrested up at a motel off University Drive.  Huntsville police decided to conduct the prostitution sting after receiving multiple complaints about two hotspots in the city. The six suspects each approached an uncover officer and offered him or her between $5 and $40 for various sex acts. They also arrested a seventh man, charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possession of a controlled substance. Huntsville police impounded the suspects’ cars, and in news releases included their names, ages, and charges, and amount they offered to pay for sex.

In June, 2021, a former Huntsville doctor who prosecutors said kept drugs at his home where he let prostitutes stay pleaded guilty to federal charges for the federal crime of “maintaining a drug-involved premises.”  He was scheduled to be sentenced at the Huntsville Federal Courthouse. According to federal court records, from 2015 to 2019, recruited prostituted women as patients at Phoenix Emergency Care in Jones Valley. He let patients use drugs — like heroin, meth and pills — at his home in Hampton Cove. Evidence showed that the defendant had ongoing sexual relationships with several women who stayed at the residence, and who he knew were abusing drugs there, according to his plea agreement.

Key Sources

State Alabama
Type City
Population 171327
Location
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