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Prostitution sting operation nets arrests

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By Howard Ballou  - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The street crimes unit of the Hinds County Sheriff's Department was back in action swooping down on prostitution and other illegal activity Tuesday night.

A strip club and an operation advertised on backpage.com were targeted. 

Hinds Co. deputies with narcotics, street crimes and the illegal gun units, teamed up to sweep known areas for prostitution.

The first stop: A nightclub called Reflections off McDowall Road.

Apparently, it was casting a bad reflection on the community because citizens complained and that's when Hinds County was called in. 

"Shortly after entering the club, one of our undercover officers was approached; told that they would have sex with him for $120 at which time we affected arrest," Major Nick Clark said.

Kimberly Hampton, 30, was arrested for marijuana possession.

Hampton was the bartender at the club.

The manager, Gilbert Paige, 62, was arrested for running a house of prostitution. 

Asked if there was some illegal activity going on inside the business, Paige replied, "I guess so if you call that drugs."

What about prostitution? Paige said, "I got nothing to say." 

Bernadine Riley, 26, was arrested for prostitution.

Riley was the alleged stripper at the club.

The disc jockey, Kenneth Springfield, 41, was arrested for marijuana possession. 

Then it was on to the parking lot of a High Street restaurant where a prostitute who advertised on backpage.com met an undercover agent she thought was a "John".

Taja Burks, 22, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was charged with prostitution.

That was the name she gave to officers but they found several different "IDs" and now there is a nationwide search to find out who this alleged prostitute really is.

There was also a male arrested with the backpage.com alleged prostitute.

Major Nick Clark says he will let us know more about the operation as the investigation continues. 

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