COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - An undercover prostitution operation conducted by the Columbia Police Department resulted in the arrests of 10 men, including the police chief of the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety.
CPD officers say the Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit, along with North and Metro Region's Community Response Teams, conducted the operation Friday at a hotel in the Greystone Boulevard area. Columbia police officers with the Narcotics unit posted an ad on Backpage.com. They got dozens of responses over a 5-hour period. Each suspect responded to the ad and met an undercover female officer in the hotel room.
"The demand is high," Sgt. Lance Reeves with the Organized Narcotics Unit said. "The problem we have of course when dealing with human trafficking -- you're talking about the spread of STD's and just the act itself which is illegal."
Police said Freddie Lorick Sr. identified himself to officers during the arrest as being the police chief of the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety. Lorick requested medical attention during the arrests and was transported by EMS to a local hospital.
Officers say the men arrested ranged in age from 29 to 59 years old. All of the men were charged with soliciting for prostitution and one of the men was hit with an extra charge of cocaine possession.
Below is a list of all the men arrested:
- Herbert Addison
- Julio Cesar
- Christopher Epps
- William Garrett – additional charge of possession of cocaine
- Floyd Hargis
- Raheem Jones
- Anthony Mathis
- Jeff Wakefield
- Mack Ward
Officers do not believe any of the men were arrested before in Columbia for prostitution.?