An undercover operation focused on soliciting prostitution in the Tuscaloosa area netted 14 arrests this past weekend, including three men who investigators say sought to have sex with minors.
The operation was conducted by investigators with the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force and the Tuscaloosa Police Department’s Juvenile Division.
Fourteen people were arrested on a total of 19 charges. Seven of the 19 charges were Class A and Class B felonies. These arrests were announced in a news release Monday afternoon.
“The officers working this detail did an outstanding job on these cases,” said Lt. Darren Beams, commander of the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, in the news release. “Operations like these are crucial in the fight to prevent human trafficking from happening in our area.”
The West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force is made up of officers with Tuscaloosa and Northport police departments, the University of Alabama Police Department, and the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Isabel Ricardo Velasquez, 35, of Northport, was charged with traveling to meet a minor for a sex act and electronic solicitation of a child. His bonds total $65,000.
Billy H. Jones, 43, of Northport, was charged with traveling to meet a minor for a sex act and electronic solicitation of a child. His bonds total $65,000.
Keuntai M. Herrod, 31, of Tuscaloosa, was charged with traveling to meet a minor for a sex act, transmitting obscene material to a child and electronic solicitation of a child. His bonds were set at $85,000.
Eleven people were charged with soliciting prostitution.
Emily Enfinger is a reporter for The Tuscaloosa News, covering crime, court and breaking news. Follow her on Twitter at @EmilyEnfinger.
Have a news tip? Email Emily at email@example.com.