OKLAHOMA CITY – Dozens of people were arrested this past weekend during an undercover prostitution sting.
It’s part of a prostitution sweep known as “Operation Cross Country” and Oklahoma City was just one of the areas targeted.
Oklahoma City police assisted the FBI in the operation that targeted escort services being advertised on the internet.
Undercover officers contacted women through online escort ads, arranged to meet them at a hotel room and then arrested them when they showed up ready to provide those services.
Brian Bates runs Johntv.com and posted the mug shots of all the men and women arrested in this operation on his website.
For almost 20 years, Bates has been known as the video vigilante.
He videos prostitutes and johns in the act, trying to put a dent in Oklahoma City’s prostitution problem.
He says in years past, this nationwide prostitution sting has targeted street walking prostitutes as well as online prostitution; but not this time.
“This year was completely different. And I think it mimics a trend. They only focused on online prostitution,” said Bates.
Bates says many of the women arrested this weekend used to walk South Robinson but they’ve moved to offering their services online.
As he’s researched the women arrested, he says it shows how prostitution touches all walks of life.
One girl arrested has a college degree.
“It says research assistant, University of Oklahoma and she has a linked in page,” said Bates.
One appears to be a professional boxer.
Another is an aspiring model.
Facebook pics show her walking the runway.
“It’s quite the leap to go from walking the runway to literally advertising yourself on back page,” said Bates.
Yet another looks like a female, but turned out to be transgendered.
“I think people need to realize, there is no one stereotype that gets drawn into prostitution,” said Bates.
Bates says what many of these women moving to the internet don’t realize is that when they were walking the streets on Robinson, that was just considered a misdemeanor.
Engaging in prostitution online is a felony.
The photo gallery contains 11 of the suspects arrested in the prostitution sting.