An undercover prostitution operation in Salt Lake City landed 8 people behind bars over the weekend.
“This is a constant problem,” said Det. Greg Wilking with the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Andres Cruz, Lauro Toreia Lopez, Henry Maderos, Luis Fernando Moreno, Khurram Shahzad, Patrick Bouvier Brown, Jovann Lopez Jaimes and Manuel Gusdabo Sandoval were all booked on charges of patronizing a prostitute this weekend.
Wilking told 2News:
If you’re going to engage in this kind of activity, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to run into one of our officers and find yourself under arrest.
Wilking said this is common for their VICE unit to do stings like targeting prostitutes and johns.
He said it can be street prostitution, hotel meet-ups, or attempts to meet-up with underage individuals - things of that nature.
“There’s a whole variety of things that they do, and they are constantly changing those tactics,” he said.
He added that stings will be random.
“You never know what time of day, you never know what days of the week," Wilking added.
The two areas of Salt Lake he said are the main problem areas are known as south and north tracks.
The south track is the State and Main Street area from 900 South to 2100 South. The north track is North Temple from 600 West to 1900 West.
Wilking said they are combatting this constantly because prostitution is dangerous for those involved.
“Some of the women are trafficked, many of them have drug problems, you can get diseases, and you get arrested,” he said.
It’s also not safe for the community.
“There’s a lot of drug use, there's theft robberies that occur, and there is a lot of crime that circles out from it,” Wilking said.
The charges you face for prostitution, Det. Wilking said is a class A misdemeanor, and you can get your car impounded if you have one.