"We are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books and I would love to see the laws involving prostitution, especially soliciting prostitutes, become a felony in this state and in this nation," Sheriff Terry Johnson said in a press conference on Monday the 23rd of September. "If we can curb the demand we can certainly curb the supply."
In an undercover operation conducted between Wednesday the 18th and Friday the 20th, by multiple law enforcement agencies, officers arrested 28 individuals including 15 men and 13 women.
"Here in Alamance County, it's a tremendous problem which creates other crimes and helps enhance the human-trafficking industry," Johnson said. As with many cities, the location of major crossroads, in the case of Alamace County, Interstate 40 and Interstate 80, play a large roll in human trafficking issues. Johnson cited reports which list North Carolina as 8th in the nation for human trafficking.
Crossroads is a program that has been put into place to assist with individuals that are first time prostitution offenders. Johnson said there is a need for more resources for those wishing to break free.
WXII 12 News asked Johnson about what kept him up at night the most about the undercover operation.
"An individual showed up for prostitution and did not bring a dollar and cornered our undercover officer in a room and we were able to go in and make the arrest, but I assure you that probably, I’m not saying I know for sure, but I would say I’m 95 percent sure had it not been an undercover officer that lady would’ve been raped,” he said.
Johnson stated that the fact that they didn't have to put forth much effort to get the 28 arrests was a testament to how bad the human trafficking issue really is. This operation was a "drop in the bucket," he said.