Police Arrest Prostitutes In Sting

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

A sting operation has taken a handful of prostitutes off the streets of Lansing's Bingham Community.

"We were able to make 11 arrests in a week and a half period," said Lansing Police Lt. Bruce Ferguson.

Police started scouting the area after receiving numerous complaints from neighbors. Kenneth McQuarrie is one of them.

"You can't go by 10, 15 minutes without seeing a girl walking by the street down there."

McQuarrie says it's been a problem ever since he moved to the neighborhood five years ago.

"I called the cops initially after I first moved in but by the time they arrived the prostitutes had been picked up and gone away at that point."

But police say they persisted and have been working on stings for years.

The sting set up is a simple procedure. An undercover officer approaches a prostitute in an unmarked vehicle, and then invites her in. Once inside, he tries to make friendly conversation with her hoping to get as much information as possible.

Officers say that a prostitution ring often times is the tip of the iceberg... and Ferguson adds prostitution can be a catalyst for other crimes.

"If you allow prostitutes to go into one area and congregate, it brings other issues like drug houses."

Ferguson says sometimes officers ask where they can buy drugs. He adds those investigations are ongoing. Neighbors are hoping more will be arrested and the streets will be cleaned up.

"We don't like that around here because we have kids in the house and stuff," said resident Shanier Stevenson. "If there's more out here I guess they'll get locked up again."

Police expect activity to cool a bit on Kalamazoo Street but suspect it moving elsewhere in the city.

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