Customers looking for more than holiday gifts in Richland Co. pr - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Customers looking for more than holiday gifts in Richland Co. prostitution sting

Sheriff's detectives monitor prostitution sting Sheriff's detectives monitor prostitution sting
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

He went shopping for what he thought would be a holiday treat. But all he and at least eight others ended up with was a trip to jail.

It began when the suspects answered a sex ad posted on web site called backpage.com.  They thought a young woman calling herself Jasmine placed the ad, seeking generous and sincere men to "fill her stocking."     

It was all part of a prostitution sting set up by the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

"This is the new way to advertise prostitution," said Sheriff Leon Lott. "20 years ago they'd be standing on the side of the road on Two Notch Rd. Today it's done online."

Over the last two days, a female deputy working out of a motel room near Two Notch Rd. greeted customer after customer after they contacted her by phone.

In the next room, a group of undercover deputies watched on video monitors and waited for the men to negotiate a price. When that happened, they pounced.

Among those arrested, a 28-year-old Army sergeant in uniform, married, with kids. Investigators say he offered to pay $50 for sex.

A short time after that, two more men showed up.

One was busted as he prepared to get down to business. As his companion was waiting outside, deputies arrested him after they say they found what appeared to be a bag of marijuana in his car.

And among those arrested on Thursday was Wendell Irby. The sheriff's department said Irby is the Fairfield County tax assessor.

"It never ceases to amaze me when we do these undercover operations, people from all walks of life end up getting caught in this sting," said Lott.

Lott said these crackdowns are not a top priority for his department.  But, he said when prostitution leads to other criminal activity such as drugs for instance or violence, he feels obligated to respond.

He hopes those who might be trolling that web site or others will think twice after seeing this story.

Copyright 2012 WIS.  All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 9:21 AM EDT2017-04-28 13:21:13 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>
  • VIDEO: Florida man, angry over chicken cost, shoots Popeye's worker in leg

    VIDEO: Florida man, angry over chicken cost, shoots Popeye's worker in leg

    Friday, April 28 2017 2:49 PM EDT2017-04-28 18:49:05 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 2:53 PM EDT2017-04-28 18:53:06 GMT

    Police are looking for a suspect they say shot a fast-food worker in the leg after an argument turned violent.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a suspect they say shot a fast-food worker in the leg after an argument turned violent.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly