Thursday July 03, 2014
The South Burlington Police Department successfully executed an undercover operation in mid June, resulting in the arrest of seven men at the Anchorage Inn after they responded to an online ad on a site known for prostitution activity. The SBPD submitted the ad and monitored the response, which was almost immediate--just minutes after posting.
The SBPD approached the Anchorage Inn, and managers fully cooperated to help with the investigation.*
The seven individuals, or “Johns”, were among the 40 persons who responded to the ad via phone call, email and text. This, in turn, generated 285 separate contacts with the undercover officer, according to the SBPD press release. Of the 40 responders, these seven men arrived at the agreed location. Once their identifications were verified, the SBPD took them into custody. They are to appear at the Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division in Burlington on July 3 on the charge of Prohibited Acts.
“It’s not acceptable, and it’s not going to be allowed,” Chief Trevor Whipple stated to The Other Paper. The SBPD is working on local and federal levels, with crime intelligence analysts from the Air Force and attorney Tristram J. Coffin, to address the issue of prostitution and human trafficking.
Whipple also noted that this is not intended to cause serious alarm among residents, but it is intended to bring awareness to the situation.
Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent
*CORRECTION: The print version reads that the SBPD approached other establishments before the Anchorage Inn offered its facities. Whipple explained that the department asked the Anchorage Inn if they could use a few rooms for the operation and did not approach several facilities.