Union County, SC
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Union County, South Carolina has a population of roughly 27,000 and its county seat is the city of Union. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.
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 March 2017, Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Task Force conducted a web-based reverse sting and arrested four men. Deputies said the task force used an internet based service where prospective “clients” contacted who they thought was a prostituted woman but was actually an undercover deputy. Deputies said the sex buyers used the website to set up paid sexual encounters, only to arrive and find deputies in waiting to arrest them. In March 2018, eight people were arrested over the space of six hours during an anti-prostitution sting conducted in Union County by the Tri-County Drug Task Force. The operation involved undercover officers posing as prostitutes or persons wanting to hire prostitutes and being contacted by or making contact with men seeking the services of prostituted persons. In most cases, the transaction involved cash in amounts ranging from $40 to $1,000, but in one case a suspect offered to trade drugs for sex. A total of five men were arrested for trying to buy sex from a female undercover officer. The identities of the men were publicly released, and three had vehicles towed and impounded.
- Tri-County Drug Task Force
Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure, Vehicle Seizure:
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://patch.com/man-pleads-guilty-to-driving-women-from-nj-to-pa-to-scotchplains (2014)
- https://www.uniondailytimes.com/two-arrested-for-prostitution (2017)
- https://patch.com/union-county-man-charged-sex-trafficking (2018)
- https://www.tapinto.net/5-arrested-in-connection-with-prostitution-at-uni (2018)
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