Prostitution Sting Ends with 52 Arrests

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- A continuing prostitution investigation in Prairie Village has resulted in more than 50 arrests. FOX 4 first told you about the investigation two weeks ago when prosecutors charged two people with promotion prostitution.

Police say they know prostitution can spark other crime and they want both sellers and buyers to think twice before completing a transaction in their city.

Twenty-year-old Danyelle Putman and 24-year-old Tony Rogers are among the 52 people facing criminal charges as the result of a three-night sting operation in Prairie Village. Officers credit the use of technology and websites like Backpage, an adult search for the unusually high number of arrests.

"There's a lot of websites out there, where people are offering their services and it's very easy to get prostitutes to come pretty much anywhere," said Capt. Tim Schwartzkopf with PVPD.

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Of the 52 arrests in the operation, Schwartzkopf says officers targeted all segments of the illegal sex trade. 26 of the people arrested are accused prostitutes, 11 are alleged johns and 15 face charges as pimps. Seven of those taken into custody are also facing drug possession charges. Detectives also seized more than $17,000 cash. Officers also say that people arrested in the sting include men posing as female prostitutes.

"The whole intent is we want to deter this in the future. we do these investigations, hopefully people will think twice before either answering an ad on the internet or putting an ad on the internet. because this could be the end result," said Capt. Schwartzkopf with PVPD.

Police say it's important for people in Prairie Village to understand that the city doesn't have a prostitution problem but instead for them to recognize that those who sell sex will go wherever there are customers willing to pay.

Other police agencies like Leawood, Shawnee and Mission also worked on this sting with Prairie Village.

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