MUGS: 27 Arrests Made In Greenville Co. Prostitution Sting - WFLA News Channel 8

MUGS: 27 Arrests Made In Greenville Co. Prostitution Sting

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

A three-day undercover prostitution sting busted 27 people in Greenville County.

Deputies said the suspects approached undercover officers, either agreeing to a sexual act in exchange for money or attempting to pay for sexual encounter.

Tips led deputies to target Old Buncombe Road, White Horse Road and hotels on the southern end of the county.

"Everybody knows what's going on," said Austin Cook, who lives right off Old Buncombe Road.

He said prostitution has become so common there, he was expecting the sheriff's office would swoop in any day.

“It didn't surprise me at all. I knew they were coming in because it was getting too wild around here," said Cook.

He said he sees women walking up and down the road or standing on porches, then getting into men's cars. It's something he said he doesn't want his family to get mixed up in.

“It's pretty bad. I don't want my kid getting in it, nothing like that," said Cook.

Greenville Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Drew Pinciaro said it’s the side effects of prostitution you should be the most worried about.

“A lot of times, these prostitutes are fueling a drug addiction, which can bring violent crimes to the area. Sometimes the prostitutes actually become victims of crimes themselves. It can also lower home values due to the crime that it brings with it,” said Pinciaro.

Greenville county deputies made 41 prostitution arrests last year. They've already more than doubled that number so far this year with 95 arrests.

Cook said, while he's glad the cops came in to crack down, he's skeptical it will have a long term impact.

“For a little while it will and then it'll get right back the same, I mean, from what I see about it. They do this about once every six months, but they calm it down and they get back crazy," said Cook.

All 27 of the people arrested in this sting face misdemeanor prostitution charges.

If convicted, the penalty for a first offense charge is $200 or 30 days in jail.

The sting also brought about other charges, including possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and driving under suspension.

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Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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