BUSTED: OPSO goes undercover to crack down on prostitution - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

BUSTED: OPSO goes undercover to crack down on prostitution

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OUACHITA PARISH, La.(KNOE 8 News)-It is business that happens behind closed doors, but in this case the eyes of Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Deputies are watching.

"We will go set up pages on websites several different websites and their phone will constantly call. As long as you got the demand out there the supply is going to be there" says Captain Bob Morris.

     Prostitution, it's a crime the Street Crimes Apprehension Team or S.C.A.T targets with undercover operations about every two months.
 They target the seekers and the providers.

They set up hidden camera in a hotel room to catch the deal as the team waits on the other side to make the arrest.
     But like any other undercover operation safety is at the top of their list.

"Its not only a danger for the officers involved, when you enter the room you don't know who you are going to encounter.  Its also a danger for the people we do arrest the prostitutes or the johns we come in contact with. There had been a recent operation where one of the johns that we arrested had a loaded gun in his jacket and he was arrested without incident but that just kind of highlights the dangers we can come across" says Sargeant Matt Hill.

     In most cases the prostitutes will go to jail to insure the police operation remains under wraps, while the "johns" will be issued a summons putting them in front of a judge.
     With every sting the team learns more about the secrets of this business.

"They are trying to get their product from point a to point b. They change their trends to be able to do that and the escorts are doing the same thing as they try to deter from being caught by the police. They are trying to change their tactics to better protect themselves from arrest" says Lieutenant David Crain.
     
     The team switches locations and sources every sting and with every bust they feel they are eliminating more than just the crime of prostitution.
     According to Sheriff Jay Russell, its a crime intertwined with many others.

"What it brings with it is usually narcotic and other drugs and other crimes not just prostitution. So we try to target that to try to move those individuals and let them know its not going to be acceptable here. You are not going to come to Ouachita Parish and conduct business in this manner" says Sheriff Jay Russell.

     And if you do you will get busted.

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