The Fayetteville Police Department along with the Peachtree City Police Department have partnered together to conduct several undercover operations in an attempt to crackdown on human trafficking.
“The crime of human trafficking in the United States is one that’s a really big problem,” Captain Chad Myers said during a press conference Tuesday.
The investigation started when officers began answering online escort ads.
“The escorts will then put their locations that they service in the ad,” Myers said. “The rates they charge and pretty much everything and we simply respond to those ads," he added.
Investigators, acting as potential clients, designated two hotels to meet up at including a Holiday Inn Express in Fayetteville.
On Thursday, Fayetteville police arrested nine people at the hotel. They charged eight of them with prostitution and one person with pimping.
“The hotels were very cooperative with providing us assistance,” Myers explained. Officers selected the hotels at random.
Elsewhere in the county, Peachtree City police conducted a sting of their own. Officers arrested 12 people at a hotel, charging nine of them with prostitution and three people with pimping.
“Prostitution is a crime in the state of Georgia,” said Myers. “But we also want to look at those who are being victimized to forced prostitution.”
Police said advocates from the Department of Homeland Security interviewed the 21 people arrested to see if any of them may be victims. An investigation into whether their charges are appropriate is ongoing.