8 charged in prostitution ring
More arrests are possible in a human trafficking and prostitution ring investigation being led by the Bureau of Indian Affairs that has so far resulted in eight individuals being charged, the authorities said.
The eight suspects, all from out of town, were either arrested or charged with crimes that they are suspected of being committing at an undisclosed location in Neshoba County on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17, according to Neshoba County Sheriff Eric Clark.
Of the eight, Amanda Hollingsworth, 42, 2710 39th St., Meridian, was the only person facing two charges, one count of prostitution and one count of possession of methamphetamine.
Others charged included the following:
• Kennarion Johnson, 23, 909 21st St., Meridian, was arrested and charged with one count of prostitution.
• Kristina Anne Walker, 36, 995 County Road 363, Enterprise, was arrested and charged with one count of prostitution.
• Eric Towner, 28, 564 Futch Road, Forest, was arrested and charged with one count of prostitution.
• Megell Fernandez Patton, 29, 1391 Pocahontas Road, Flora, was arrested and charged with one count of prostitution.
• Melton Starkey, 26, 1903 9th Avenue, Meridian, had no prostitution charges and was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.
Two other suspects, Clifford Jenning of Jackson and Sabrina Scabrough of Meridian, were not arrested but issued court summons and court appearance dates related to prostitution charges, Clark said.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services is leading the investigation, Clark said.
The Sheriff’s Office and the Choctaw Police Department are assisting in the multi-agency sting operation targeting human trafficking.
“Another example of local officials working together to make Neshoba County a safer place to live,” Clark said. “Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office will continue to train our officers in the detection of and response to human trafficking.”
“This is an ongoing investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” Clark said. “I know they were still interviewing people as late as the end of last week and more charges are likely to come. We want to let the people know that we are working on every aspect of crime in the county.”
Clark said he has no further details as it is an ongoing investigation but he could confirm that these arrests all happened at a central location
“Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act,” Clark said. “Anyone can be a victim of trafficking.”
If you are a victim or need to report a tip, text- HELP to BEFREE (233733) or call- 1-888-373-7888.
Anyone with any information on crimes or potential crimes in Neshoba County is encouraged to please call Crime Stoppers at (855) 485-8477.