Prostitution Sting At Several Tulsa Truck Stops

Friday, February 29th 2008, 1:05 pm
By: News On 6

Deputies carried out a prostitution sting at some local truck stops and arrested four men for solicitation.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports deputies only made a few arrests, but say this was a test operation that found a lot of interest.

They had more lookers than takers, but say it was enough to try it again.

Deputies from three county sheriff's departments spent three hours waiting at truck stops on Thursday night.  They were there to catch men trying to solicit prostitutes.

But the two women posing as prostitutes were undercover informants, and deputies asked The News On 6 to protect their identity.

"We're going to target anyone who solicits prostitution, we're looking at mainly high traffic areas that cultivate criminal activity," said Lt. Charles Smallwood, Mayes County Sheriff's Department.

The surveillance was set up at the Kicks 66 truck stop in Catoosa, and the Flying "J" in East Tulsa, both on I-44.

During the day, both places are busy with truckers and travelers buying fuel and moving on.

Those same parking lots at night, deputies say become places where prostitution and drugs are a problem.

The decoys were told to offer sex acts for money or just about anything else.

It wasn't long before a man fell into the trap.

Deputies arrested four men for trying to hire a prostitute and say one of them also tried to buy drugs.

"We have had some success with it in the past, we've had both illegal drugs purchased and some solicitation of prostitution as well," said Lt. Smallwood.

One of the men arrested was 27-year-old Joseph Schmidt, of Hutchinson, Kansas for solicitation of prostitution.

Deputies say they'll continue these joint efforts to cut into drugs and prostitution at truck stops.

Three of the arrests were in Tulsa County, one in Rogers County.

The sting last night was a joint effort between Tulsa, Rogers and Mayes County Sheriff's offices.