GOOSE CREEK, SC – Employees who work in a Goose Creek strip mall say they see prostitutes get in-and-out of cars with customers every night during the weekend, and that’s why the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office says they’re cracking down.
Maryetta Hoover works in the Creek Bank Plaza shopping center and says she has literally stepped out the back door at work, and seen prostitutes…at work.
Hoover said, “It’s nonstop Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday night, all night. They have sex right over there right by that dumpster. It’s gross, you know? You can tell what’s going on it makes you feel just uncomfortable right there.
People who work nearby told News 2, prostitutes walk out of the predominantly Hispanic bar in the shopping center and meet clients.
One woman explained, “A girl will walk up to the car, talk to somebody for a couple of minutes, get in the car and they will drive away. They’ll come back a little bit later and she will go back to the bar.”
Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis says his deputies are on top of it. “We believe it breeds other criminal activity,” said Lewis.
Last Friday night, two undercover Berkeley County sheriff deputies posed as prostitutes in the same shopping center. They were approached by several “Johns” and asked to perform sexual acts in exchange for money. After negotiations were final, other Berkeley County Sheriff Deputies swept in to make the arrests.
Lewis told News 2, “We targeted that area and we are going to continue to do more of it all over the county.”
When all was said and done 13 men were behind bars.
“It’s disgusting really it’s really disgusting that affects everybody around here,” said Hoover.
Berkeley County officials say the sting isn’t over and they plan on making more busts in the area.
11 of the men arrested have been charged with soliciting for prostitution and two charged with simple possession of marijuana.
The sting was led by the Sheriff’s Community Action Team and the Berkeley County Sheriff Office’s Narcotics/Vice Team. A warrant is being sought for a 14th male from the sting.
Announcing the arrests, Sheriff Lewis said, “I am committed to cleaning up our streets. Whether it is drugs or prostitution, theft or violence – our deputies share my commitment to making the arrests necessary to improve public safety in Berkeley County.”