Undercover prostitution sting nets 42 arrests at northeast Oklahoma casinos

An undercover prostitution sting resulted in 42 arrests at northeast Oklahoma casinos. The four-day operation focused on organized sex trafficking in Tulsa, Rogers, Ottawa and Delaware counties, said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Control.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Modified: September 16, 2013 at 7:28 pm •  Published: September 16, 2013
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Authorities arrested 42 people in a four-day undercover prostitution sting conducted by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Control, spokesman Mark Woodward said Monday.

The bureau's human trafficking unit — with assistance from several law enforcement agencies — focused on organized sex trafficking in Tulsa, Rogers, Ottawa and Delaware counties. Among the locations where prostitutes were arrested were two casinos in Ottawa County, Woodward said.

“The agency initiated the investigation as the result of information about individuals, including minors, forced into prostitution,” Woodward said.

Three female prostitutes — including a 15-year-old girl — were identified as victims of human trafficking and were taken to a shelter, he said. Investigators are trying to determine if the juvenile is a runaway, he said.

One search warrant, executed at a Bixby massage parlor, uncovered illegal sexual activity and heroin, Woodward said.

According to probable cause affidavits, the prostitutes were charging from $60 for a half-hour to $700 for an overnight stay.

“This is not ‘Pretty Woman,'” prosecutor Becky Baird said, referring to a popular 1990 romantic comedy starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. “These women are not trying to better themselves. They are in a desperate situation doing what they feel they have to in order to survive.”

Woodward said 13 people were arrested on complaints of engaging in prostitution, 20 on complaints of soliciting prostitution, seven on complaints of pandering, one on a complaint of aiding and abetting prostitution and one on possession of methamphetamine complaint.

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