FAIRVIEW, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 3-week long prostitution sting in Fairview netted more than a dozen arrests and the seizure of drugs like heroin and marijuana.
Fairview police officers told News 2 this kind of operation is a first in their city’s history.
It was designed to make the area near Interstate 40 safer for residents and drivers.
The investigation began around Thanksgiving at a local motel with a confidential informant working with police. She pretended to be a prostitute, advertising on Backpage.com.
From there, men in the area and traveling through made arrangements to stop at the motel for sex.
News 2 obtained video from two of the busts, one dated Monday, Nov. 30.
It shows a man now identified as Mark Hitz knocking on a door and coming inside. You can hear him negotiate a sex act for $75.
“It’s going to be 20 minutes for $75,” the informant says. “Okay,” Hitz replies. She asks if he’s sure, he says yes and smiles.
Within minutes, Fairview police officers swarm the motel room and take the 53-year-old into custody.
The room is cleared and the operation is run again.
This time, a man named Rosalio de Jesus reportedly answers the ad and comes to room looking for sex.
He locks the door behind him and the two begin negotiating a sex act for money. Again, officers swarm the room and take the 32-year-old into custody.
Over the course of three weeks, police arrested 13 people for either promoting or patronizing prostitution. They also seized drugs like heroin.
“It’s important that we keep the community safe,” said Lt. Shane Dunning. “It’s about the community that lives here, but it’s also about the motoring public travelling up and down I-40.”
Mike Patel runs the motel where the busts went down. He says he cooperated with police to provide a safer environment for his guests.
One of the men arrested was on probation for the rape of a child. He was wearing ankle monitor device. News 2’s Andy Cordan was also told evidence reportedly found on his person will lead to a much larger case.
In the meantime, Fairview police say they plan to continue operations like this in the future.