JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Jackson neighborhoods plagued with prostitution and other illegal activity associated with it, are the targets of a special undercover sting operation by the Hinds County Sheriff's Department.
In an exclusive report last week, WLBT went undercover with the department's narcotics and street crimes unit. They were back in action Wednesday night and we were there when an unlikely duo was caught in the sting.
Lieutenant Jeffrey Scott's disguise for this sting operation generated chuckles but there was nothing funny about the possible danger he and members of this Hinds County Narcotics and Street Crimes Unit faced as they prepared for another raid on a house of prostitution in Jackson. Before the operation began, there was a briefing and a roll call in an undisclosed location parking lot. Officers then set up surveillance at a house on 1234 Valley Street.
Lt. Scott said, "Now, this case was made based on a complaint made by one of the local churches."
Unlike, the 1218 Langley Street operation where our undercover camera caught a pregnant prostitute preparing for sex with a "john", the Valley Street sting didn't get that far. Money exchanged hands and the case was made. But there is a bizarre twist.
Lt. Scott said, "This is actually a mother/daughter team."
You heard right...a mother/daughter team.
Major Nick Clark, leader of the operation said, "We affected two arrests. One individual was charged with prostitution and another one has a warrant out of California."
19 year old Liliana Hughes was charged with solicitation of prostitution and her mother, 37 year old Maria Hughes, was arrested because she is wanted on a sexual assault charge in California.
Scott said, "She was arrested on what's called a foreign warrant from another jurisdiction, but that's what we're holding her on until the extradition process has taken place."
Maria Hughes is now on her way back to California. I asked Lieutenant Scott and Major Clark if these operations are making any difference.
Scott said, "Prostitution is the oldest crime in the world. It's not gonna stop but I can guarantee if you get that itch, we're gonna be there to scratch it for you."
Clark said, "Anybody in any neighborhood oughta feel safe; oughta feel like they can sit out on their porch, walk down their street, oughta feel like they can live in their neighborhood without fear of criminals and prostitutes."
Lieutenant Scott says 19-year-old Liliana Hughes charged 150-dollars for her services but threw the money back at him when she discovered it was counterfeit. It turns out Hughes once worked at a bank.
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