COBB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46)- A Cobb County motel notorious to police for criminal activity is involved in a thrust to end sex trafficking children.
Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds says the Masters Inn at Windy Hill Road near SunTrust Park is one of several motel hot spots for illegal activity.
He's deputizing civil attorneys to force this and other property owners to clean up their motels or risk the county shutting them down.
Mugshots from over a dozen recent arrests show why the pattern of drug, crime and sex trafficking behavior so alarmed Cobb law enforcement. One guest in particular is accused of repeated drug offenses and finding buyers for sex.
DA Reynolds describes what he calls Anthony Dobson's sales pitch to potential buyers.
"I've got this person here, you can come, you can pay me money, and you can have your way with her," said Reynolds.
He reports horror stories told his investigators by children found in similar situations.
"Girls as young as twelve or thirteen years old? Sometimes they would see 20-30 men a day."
Cobb police report arresting Dobson for drug charges recently at the Masters Inn.
"He was renting three rooms in center of hotel. Arrested for drug charges. When he was released, police found him again renting those same 3 rooms. That's when they found the female, held against her will, and trafficked out of those 3 rooms."
District Attorney Vic Reynolds says motel owners can claim they had no idea of criminal activity occurring behind motel room doors. But he says turning a blind eye can allow criminal activity to flourish. In response he deputized civil lawyer Jason Nohr to use Georgia's anti-nuisance law to force motel owners to stop ignoring crimes on their property. A multi-page consent order is the result.
The Masters Inn owner, Rakesh Patel, disagreed he's aware of any sex trafficking, but is collaborating with law enforcement "to help prevent sex trafficking from taking place...in the first place."
The change insisted on by Cobb police? Requiring photo identification for every guest who rents a room.
Other changes to which the Masters Inn owners agreed:
- No rooms to people arrested there in last 4 years
- Employee training to recognize child sex trafficking
- Uniformed security guard most of nighttime hours
- Good outdoor lighting
- High resolution cameras
The first test of the agreement is before Superior Court Judge Kimberly Childs, in March.