Purvis, MS

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Purvis is a U.S. city in, and the county seat, of Lamar County, Mississippi. It has a population of roughly 2,200, and it is part of the Hattiesburg Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas, including Hattiesburg and Purvis. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. The Purvis Police Department has participated in demand reduction operations as a member of the Pine Belt Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.  For example, in December, 2019, six men were arrested and charged during an operation in nearby Columbia.  The operation targeted suspects who were attempting to exploit or entice children for sexual purposes, solicit prostitutes and possibly identify victims of human trafficking.  Two men were charged with enticement of a child to meet for sexual purposes. Four others were charged with misdemeanor procuring prostitution.

Within the city of Purvis, demand reduction tactics have been employed.  For example, in September, 2022, the board of directors for the Homes of Hope for Children announced it had terminated the employment of its Founder and Director after he was arrested and charged with possession of illegal drugs and procuring prostitution. He had been arrested on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one charge of procuring prostitution. He was arrested again two days later and charged with another drug possession offense. The man had been arrested by Columbia police and he was booked into the Marion County Correctional Facility. His identity was publicly disclosed. The organization he founded operates a number of homes on a remote compound where house parents care for up to eight foster children in each home.

Key Partners

  • Homes of Hope for Children
  • Lamar County Sheriff’s Office
  • Columbia Police Department
  • Homeland Security
  • Mississippi Department of Corrections
  • 12th District Narcotics Enforcement Team

Key Sources

Loss of Employment, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Sex Trafficking:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:


State Mississippi
Type City
Population 2198
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