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Undercover sting cracks down on prostitution

Updated: Friday, July 11 2014, 11:43 PM CDT
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet

Beaumont police cracked down on prostitution in the city today, but they say many of the women will end up right back on the street. Officers say complaints led to undercover operations to clean up prostitution hot spots.

"She just put her backpack in the car. She's getting in, she's in the front seat," said a Beaumont Police Supervisor, watching Friday's undercover sting operation.

Undercover officers posed as Johns and picked up women in parts of Beaumont where police have received numerous complaints.

"Isn't it dangerous to get into a car with a stranger?" I asked one of the women arrested.

"No," she responded.

"I don't mind saying what I do. I sure do!" she later said.

"Why did you get in the car?" I asked another woman.

"I just wanted to go to a funeral," she replied.

Others responded only with silence.

Law enforcement targeted I-10 and Eleventh Street and the area around Franklin and Gilbert Street.

"Prostitutes have been really heavy here and it's caused a lot of problems in the outlying neighborhoods," said Lieutenant Ky Brown with the Beaumont Police Department. "The people that come to solicit prostitutes, and then narcotics follow it, and then you get the people that want the drugs that are pulling the burglaries, and the property thefts, and assaults."

Some went quietly, others did not. Police say it doesn't take long for those arrested to go back to the street.

"We've had these operations before, and it may happen today, where we've started early in the morning and by the afternoon some of these girls that we picked up in the morning may have already bonded out," said Brown.

"I'm not wanting to be, I'm not wanting to go through this," said one woman who was arrested. "I want you to hurry up and get me to jail because I'm going to get out and I'm done."

Under Texas law, if a defendant is convicted of prostitution three or more times, the charge is bumped from a misdemeanor to a state jail felony.

"However, that too tends to take a lot of time before they ever go to court," said Brown. "They'll be able to bond out, and then whatever time they do spend in jail will go towards whatever time that they're assessed in reference to their crime."

Police say they'll continue to combat prostitution.

"For the citizens, if you do call just to let you understand, when you do call we do act," said Brown.

Brown says areas like I-10 and Eleventh Street are a problem, because it's a high traffic area, has a lot of older motels, and is easy to access.Undercover sting cracks down on prostitution

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