Shown left to right: Tonishasa Williams, Starla White, Ruby Sims. A mug shot was not available for Edtrena Dennis. (Photo source: Waveland Police Dept.)
WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) -
A prostitution sting netted four arrests in Waveland over the weekend. According to Waveland Police, investigators answered ads from women who posted solicitations on the internet. Authorities say the women then traveled to the coast from Jackson and Memphis to perform sex acts for money.
Waveland's Cyber Crimes Unit, along with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Cyber Crimes Task Force, set up an operation at a Waveland hotel to make the busts. Those arrested and charged with prostitution include three Jackson women: Ruby Sims, 18; Edtrena Dennis, 21; Tonishasa Williams, 22. Starla White, 32, of Memphis, was also charged with the crime.
Waveland Police Chief David Allen said the prostitution sting started with online postings.
"Undercover officers went to various websites on the internet and basically ordered prostitutes. As they showed up, we had undercover officers in the room. As they made deals for sex acts, we made arrests," said Chief Allen. "The Mississippi Gulf Coast Cyber Crimes Task Force does a lot of proactive investigations. This is just one of many we've been part of and one of many to come."
Allen said cyber prostitution is a growing problem, especially on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"What we find is they travel. The Gulf Coast being a huge tourist area, so a lot of times on weekends they'll come down here. They come down here, get hotel rooms, set up their web pages, and they look for Johns via the internet," explained Allen.
The chief said some of the websites are used more often than others to solicit potential clients, but he said his cyber crimes unit is monitoring them all.
"The internet has opened up the doors to a lot of old-fashion crimes being done in a new way. And Waveland and the rest of the Task Force certainly plan on being right there to fight these issues."
All four women were charged with solicitation of prostitution and taken to the Hancock County Adult Detention Center. They have since bonded out.
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