Tuscaloosa cracking down on human trafficking

Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force along with Tuscaloosa Police are cracking down on prostitution.

Oer the weekend, authorities busted two men for prostitution and police also rescued two young women after an undercover operation at a local hotel.

Lieutenant Darren Beams is the commander of the Task Force and also works for Tuscaloosa Police. Beams says both young women are getting help at a safe house where authorities take victims of human trafficking.

“They were there against their will,” Beams said. “It’s not something they woke up one day and decided ‘we want to be in the commercial sex.’  They were definitely holding something over these two females’ heads.”

The undercover operation happened Friday night at the Masters Inn hotel on McFarland Boulevard near the interstate.  Isaiah Williams and Demetrius Wright, both 25 years old from Cairo, Georgia, were charged with felony promoting prostitution.

“As you know the interstate is the same thing as a circuit in these types of operations, so we know one of these individuals, Demetrius Wright, has a lengthy criminal record of this activity in other states,” Beams said.

Beams said many who are involved in human trafficking and prostitution often like to run their crimes at local hotels near interstate 20-50 in Tuscaloosa. In November 2018, the previous owner of the Masters Inn was arrested for promoting prostitution.

“That location does have a history with us and it is on our radar and it was in the past, the previous owner cannot operate a business in Tuscaloosa county anymore,” Beams said. “But I can’t say in this case, that the hotel was complicit or aware in any way.”

According to Police in the past three years, authorities in the Task Force have investigated 33 cases of human trafficking and arrested 245 johns suspects.


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