Thomasville Times Enterprise


July 25, 2011

Undercover operation ends in prostitution arrest

THOMASVILLE — A Thomasville police officer was arrested Friday night for offenses ranging from failure to wear a seat belt to driving under the influence.

The officer was handcuffed and placed in the rear of a patrol car.

The “arrest” was part of an undercover agent’s role as a man seeking sex and drugs.

A Thomasville Police Department (TPD) incident report shows:

Close to 10 Friday night, the agent was traveling outbound at North Stevens and Walcott streets when he was waved down by a male who asked him what he was looking for.

The officer responded that he was “looking for something to do.” The man asked if a woman was wanted and pointed to a female walking along North Stevens.

The officer drove his vehicle forward, the woman approached the driver-side window, asked what he wanted and got in the vehicle.

The vehicle pulled over to the man, who asked if the driver wanted crack cocaine. The officer said he wanted the drug.

The man wanted $50 for the crack. The woman said that for $50 she and the driver could get high. The price included sex.

The undercover agent told the man he had no money with him and would have to go to a local motel where he was staying to get the cash. The woman said she would accompany him.

As the vehicle traveled along Merrill Street to Broad Street, the officer keyed a hand-held radio to let a police sergeant know the woman was in the vehicle with him. The officer asked the woman again what he would receive for $50. Again, she said they would get high and have sex.

The vehicle traveled along North Hansell Street bound for Hansell’s intersection with East Jackson Street, where a prearranged traffic stop would be performed.

The officer was not wearing a seat belt, and two fellow officers stopped him. The woman told the agent to put on his seat belt. She told him her name was Martha and to tell police they were friends, that he was giving her a ride to Wendy’s.

The officer told the agent he was being stopped for not wearing a seat belt. The officer asked the agent for a driver’s license, which he did not have. The officer pretended to conduct a sobriety test on the agent and advised him that he was under arrest for driving under the influence.

While the undercover agent was in the patrol car, three other officers approached the woman in the passenger seat. Martha Dennis, 51, 214 Plain St., was placed under arrest and charged with prostitution and possession of drug-related objects.

“We’ve had some problems and complaints about prostitution in that area — from North Stevens to Carroll Hill,” said Lt. Eric Hampton, TPD public information officer.

Loud conversations and doors slamming during nighttime hours have been commonplace in the area at night. Disturbances often occur on people’s lawns.

Hampton said patrol officers witnessed activity they considered suspicious. The area has a lot of nighttime foot traffic.

“It also is an area well-known for drugs sales, as well,” the officer said.

Dennis is being held in the Thomas County Jail in lieu of an $1,100 bond.




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