8 arrested in Columbia sting operation targeting prostitution

Eight suspects were arrested in Columbia in an undercover sting operation targeting those who provided money to sex traffickers in the form of prostitution.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 1:52 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2022 at 1:53 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - Eight suspects have been arrested in Columbia in an undercover sting operation targeting those who provided money to sex traffickers in the form of prostitution.

The Columbia Police Department, with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigation and Mississippi Department of Corrections, executed the operation, which was named “Operation Washout.”

Charges ranging from procuring prostitution to possession of a controlled substance, including methamphetamine, cocaine and 31 individual packages of what are believed to be THC edibles, have been brought against the suspects.

Additional investigations are ongoing and outside resources, such as the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, have been sought.

Those arrested and their charges are listed below:

  • Will T. Sanford, 26, of Seminary: Charged with procuring prostitution
  • Joshua L. Day, 42, of Farmer City, Ill.: Charged with procuring prostitution
  • Brett M. Thompson, 32, of Hattiesburg: Charged with procuring prostitution
  • Joseph L. Ladner, 27, of Laurel: Charged with procuring prostitution
  • Dennis J. Bickham, 49, of Foxworth: Charged with procuring prostitution
  • Dana Carl Esters, 49, of Hattiesburg: Charged with procuring prostitution
  • Joshua C. Crain, 40, of Columbia: Charged with procuring prostitution
  • Michael S. Garrett, 46, of Purvis: Charged with procuring prostitution and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

On Saturday, Municipal Court Judge Donovan McComb issued a bond revocation on Garrett after new discoveries were presented. Garrett was arrested on the bond revocation by the CPD.

The investigation is ongoing, but no new charges have been filed at this time.

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