Monday, August 20, 2012

‘Innocence Lost’ Nets 23 in ‘Hot August Nights’ Sting

Twenty-two women and one man were arrested or cited on suspicion of prostitution during two days of an undercover sting during the ‘Hot August Nights’ classic car and nostalgia event across the Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe areas.

The sting came in the heels of the Innocence Lost National Initiative aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States which was launched by the FBI, in conjunction with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As part of the initiative, detectives in the regional Street Enforcement Team on Thursday and Saturday arrested or cited some of the suspected prostitutes contacted on the Fourth Street corridor,  those contacted through online escort advertisements and those found at a Sparks hotel-casino.

The youngest suspect nabbed was an 18-year-old male from Reno while the oldest was a 45-year-old woman. Many told investigators they had children. Several admitted they were drug addicts. A sizeable number say they live in California and travelled to Las Vegas to take advantage of the ‘Hot August Nights’ classic car event.

Police surmise at least some of those arrested were working for pimps. Aside from suspicion of solicitation for prostitution, charges filed against some include obstructing or resisting a peace officer and those for drug-related offenses.