Prostitution An Issue In Jackson County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/24/04

Prostitution An Issue In Jackson County

"So do I just pay you the hundred now?" The man says to the woman on a prostitution sting video.

Law enforcers say the scene on this surveillance video happens all too often.

"We are going to play?" The man says.

Two people meet in a hotel room to make an illegal deal.

"It's out there. It's something that we at the task force don't work on a daily basis, but we do run into it," says Jackson County Drug Task Force Commander Louie Miller.

Miller says the majority of prostitution they run into in this county is directly involved with drugs.

"They go through and spend everything they can spend on drugs and then they actually turn to using their body to support a drug habit. That's what we see a lot of," Miller says.

What's worse, authorities say sometimes prostitutes find themselves in situations they weren't bargaining for.

"We've had a situation where we've had a prostitute who was murdered and left out in East Jackson County,"Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd says.

Investigators say when the sun goes down, under the 14th street bridge in Pascagoula is a popular place for those practicing the world's oldest profession.

Authorities would love to put them out of business, but they say getting drug dealers off the street is a higher priority.

"Not to take anything away from prostitution, but our plates our full of the narcotics end of it," Miller adds.

Miller says it would take at least 6 officers to pull off a effective sting like this.

Prostitution is simply a misdemeanor. Most drug charges are felonies. Miller says it makes more sense to put their manpower towards a more serious crime.

by Jaimee Goad

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