Third Prostitution Sting This Spring Nets 6 Arrests

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Five women and one man were arrested in a prostitution sting in Huntington.

This is the third prostitution sting since March.

The Huntington Police Department's Special Emphasis Unit conducted the sting on 6th Avenue between 5th Street West and 8th Street East.

Interim Huntington Police Chief Jim Johnson says it's heartbreaking seeing women turn to prostitution to feed their drug habits.

“This is not a syndicate,” Johnson said. “The boss that's running these girls different places, it's heroin. It's ruined their lives. It's ruined their families' lives."

The arrests included:

  • Joshua Tovar, 22, of Huntington - first-offense prostitution
  • Haley Blankenship, 19, of Huntington - first-offense prostitution
  • Laura Lynette Malone, 43, of Huntington - first-offense prostitution
  • Leah Marie Bryant, 27, of Huntington - second-offense prostitution
  • Brianna Faye Morgan, 20, of Huntington - first-offense prostitution
  • Salena Pardue, 33, of Huntington - first-offense prostitution

In each arrest, Huntington Police say the suspects flagged down the undercover officer and offered a variety of sexual acts in exchange for money.

All six suspects were arraigned Tuesday night.

This latest sting in Huntington brings the total number of prostitution arrests this spring to 16.

"Our tip line calls to the area have actually decreased in the past month, which would lead you to believe that that the people who are committing these criminal acts are being more careful and not as blatant as they have in the past," Huntington Police Capt. Rocky Johnson said. "Although the calls have decreased, we stated at the beginning of the spring that we could conduct these stings on a regular basis and continue as long as enforcement activity is required."

Anyone with information about prostitution or any other criminal activity is asked to call the Huntington Police Department's tip line at 304-696-4444.

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