RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Police are touting a major prostitution bust in Richmond. After a four day sting this month, almost thirty people are facing prostitution or solicitation charges. The operation stemmed from resident complaints. Richmond Police officials say it's part of an ongoing effort to clean up the city.
Twenty women are facing prostitution charges. Police said seven "johns" tried to pay for sex. What those men didn't know is they were actually soliciting undercover cops.
"People in their neighborhoods should not have to have their lives disrupted by this type of activity," said Lt. Tim Morley. "It's a lot of disgusting things going on right there in vehicles outside your house, in church parking lots."
The sting lasted four days in December and stretched citywide. Police made six difference arrests up and down Jeff Davis Highway. The people who live and work there said they see prostitutes working that street every day.
"A lot of our business, we deal with children and we deal a lot with service personnel and we deal a lot with moms that come in. And it's certainly not good for business," said Jerry Finn who has owned a store in the area for more than fifty years.
Diane Harris told us she's never completely at ease when walking from the bus stop to work on Jeff Davis.
"Maybe if they clean the streets up people would be more comfortable to come out onto the streets and it might open the way for better business," said Harris.
And cleaning up the streets is R.P.D.'s goal.
"It's time to find a new line of work," said Lt. Morley. "Whether you're actually out there prostituting or picking somebody up, there's a strong possibility that we're gonna get you."
Prostitution is a class one misdemeanor that could lead to a fine or jail time depending on the person's criminal history. Pictures of the arrestees can be viewed at: http://www.ci.richmond.va.us/departments/police/prostitutionsting122009.aspx