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Tifton is a city of about 17,000 residents, located in south central Georgia along Interstate 75, which runs north to south through the city, leading north to Atlanta and south to Valdosta. Other highways that pass through the city include U.S. Route 41, U.S. Route 82, U.S. Route 319, and Georgia State Route 125. The city is the county seat of Tift County. Prostitution and drug use have been well-documented in the city, especially at truck stops on Highway 82, resulting in continuous complaints to law enforcement. A local man has also been convicted of child sex trafficking. In May 2015, a resident of Tifton was sentenced in federal court for pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit, and commission of, sex trafficking of a minor. He was sentenced to 17 years and nine months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. The girl had been abducted in New York and trafficking throughout the Atlanta region and other areas of Georgia.
At least one reverse sting has been conducted to combat demand in the city. In October 2011, the Tifton Police Department arrested seven men on charges of pandering for prostitution after receiving continuous complaints about prostitution along Highway 82. The Tift County Sheriff’s Office and Crisp County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the reverse sting operation. From 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., undercover female officers were approached by men and offered money for sex, after which seven men were arrested. Their names, ages, and hometowns were released to the press.
- Tifton Police Department
- Tift County Sheriff’s Office
- Crisp County Sheriff’s Office
Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/five-sex-traffickers-sentenced-pimping-14-year-old-girls (2015)
- https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/uga-student-arrested-in-kidnap-sex-trafficking-of-14-year-old-girl (2021)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.tiftongazette.com/news/local_news/city-to-crack-down-on-prostitution (2005)
- https://www.tiftongazette.com/archives/two-tifton-women-arrested-for-prostitution (2011)
- https://www.tiftongazette.com/archives/tpd-makes-prostitution-arrests (2011)
- https://www.valdostadailytimes.com/news/local_news/tifton-man-says-he-was-extorted-by-prostitute (2015)
- https://www.moultrieobserver.com/news/ga_fl_news/2-charged-in-prostitution-sting (2018)
- https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/local/15-arrested-in-undercover-prostitution-sting (2018)
- https://www.moultrieobserver.com/news/local_news/7-charged-in-prostitution-sting (2020)
Local Prostitution Ordinance:
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