A dozen people were jailed after a two-day sting where law enforcement used the Internet to nab people soliciting prostitutes.
Wednesday and Thursday, Statesboro-Bulloch Crime Suppression Team investigators conducted a reverse prostitution sting with the cooperation of a local motel, leading to the arrest of 11 men and a woman, Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson said in a released statement Friday.
The woman, Dekara Keanna Lee, 23, Palm Beach, Florida, was charged with prostitution and keeping a place of prostitution after officers, during the investigation, learned of her soliciting sexual encounters at a separate hotel from which the sting was held, he said.
“As prostitution is now facilitated in many cases on the Internet, investigators used a classified Internet advertising website to arrange transactions,” he said. The 11 men who responded to the ads and went to the specified motel to complete the sexual transactions were then arrested.
One man, Whitman Levon Scott, 30, Oak Hill Mobile Home Park, was charged with pandering and sexual battery, with the latter charge stemming from his having groped an undercover female officer. The other 10 men were all charged with pandering.
The CST began the investigation after receiving complaints from the public and information from other law enforcement agencies, Anderson said.
"Prostitution brings with it other issues, such as drug activity, robberies, and the use of underage and sex trafficked women," he said. "The reverse stings make the crime more dangerous for ‘johns' to participate in and hopefully deter them from doing so."
In addition to Lee and Scott, the following were arrested during the sting:
- Brandon Y. Chiang, 20, Derenne Avenue, Savannah, charged with pandering and obstruction;
- David Curtis Talbot, 43, Georgia Highway 23, Reidsville, pandering;
- Charles Ford Jr., 38, Garfield Street, pandering;
- Scott Edwin Lariscey, 42, Park Avenue, pandering;
- Lee Marshall Purvis, 42, West Main Street, Claxton, pandering;
- John Eric Peavy, 48, Shearhouse Road, Guyton, pandering;
- Spencer Kelly Flythe III, 35, Old Register Road, pandering;
- Richard Adam Waters, 50, Beulah Church Road, Harrison, pandering
- David Berry, 53, Old Tremont Road, Cordele, pandering;
- Travis Paul Roberts, 26, Effingham Highway Sylvania, pandering;
All were taken to the Bulloch County Jail, where they either posted bond or await court hearings, he said.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.