Live 5 exclusive: Cop poses as prostitute to arrest 'johns'

SPECIAL REPORT: Undercover cops pose as prostitutes

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - North Charleston police are cracking down on prostitution by going undercover to arrest so called 'johns', who offer to pay money for sex.

Live 5 News got an exclusive, inside look at a reverse prostitution sting.

A female police officer posed as a prostitute and walked up and down Remount Road.

"A lot of people, first question is are you a cop? So you have to learn to get around those questions," the undercover officer said.

She has to be cool as a cucumber, and is always being watched by fellow officers, just in case something goes terribly wrong.

"I've had a guy try to pull me into a vehicle before," she explained.

We rode with the surveillance team led by North Charleston Police Sgt. Darin Cobb.

You may be surprised to see that this particular sting operation was done in broad daylight, on a Wednesday morning!

Police say whether it's morning, Noon or night, the 'johns' are out there looking for some action.

"It's not unheard of for a 'john' to pull up to a female on the street and have his pants down," Cobb said. "There's no telling what we're going to run into out here today.'

We would soon find out.

The undercover cop takes on the role of a prostitute.

There are a few nibbles from prospective 'johns'.

"Guy was looking hard. He may or may not come back," Cobb said.

The undercover officer then gets an offer from a guy she says wants to pay $30 for sex.

"Deal's good," she radios to the other officers.

The takedown team springs into action.

"You see the two walking together, right next to the green car, perfect," Cobb radios back.

Quickly, three men are arrested and taken to a holding area.

"The vast majority are married which some people may find surprising, but I don't," Cobb explained.

While the suspected 'johns' wait to be booked, the team goes back to work on Remount Road.

the posing prostitute gets even more prospective clients.

"The deal's gonna be good on that one," she radios.

"White Ford Ranger pulling out onto remount, deal's gonna be good," Cobb radios to the takedown team.

Then they arrest another guy driving an 18 wheeler.

"Deal is good at the Hot Spot, just go ahead and take him there," Cobb tells the takedown team.

The undercover officer tells the team, when talking about sex, one of the alleged 'johns' wanted it all.

"He said shoot, I'll give you 60 for both. Great deal," she radioed.

Some critics claim prostitution is a victimless crime. But police say it leads to dangerous drugs deals and armed robberies.

As long as the worlds oldest profession is around, undercover stings like this one will continue.

"This isn't going away," the undercover officer said. "I've been doing this for six years now, on the same street. I've never had a day where I don't get deals, never had a day."

At the end of the day, Sgt. Cobb said six men were arrested including one who was out of jail on work release.

They were charged either with solicitation for prostitution or loitering for the purpose of soliciting prostitution. The penalty is either 30 days in jail or a $470 fine.

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