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North Carolina sting operation snares suspected sex traffickers

In today's modern age, police are putting more and more effort into cracking down on Internet sex crimes. It is now common for undercover officers to pose as either prostitutes or as potential clients in an effort to crack down on the men and women who engage in Internet sex crimes.

This was apparently the case in a recent sting operation in Charlotte. Responding to an ad on the Internet, an undercover police officer posed as a client for a prostitute, meeting her in a room of the University Executive Drive Holiday Inn. She was immediately taken into custody. She has apparently cooperated with authorities, though it is not clear whether she has been arrested or charged.

The operation was part of a nationwide attempt to crack down on Internet sex trafficking. According to federal agents, more than 150 people have been arrested as part of the operation, though by the officers' own admission this is a small drop in a large bucket. An estimated 80 percent of all prostitution in America is conducted over the Internet, and many of the arrests made are done using undercover operations.

These sting operations are not limited to prostitution. Similar operations are used to apprehend those suspected of possessing or viewing child pornography. Though these operations are undoubtedly effective, their use often raises concerns over their legality. There is a fine line between a sting operation and entrapment, and it is not uncommon for those arrested in Internet sting operations to feel as though they have been drawn in by the authorities. Sting operations must be conducted with an extremely close eye on the legalities of the situation, otherwise the constitutional rights of the accused could be violated. Those who are facing charges from this kind of activity should consider speaking to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help explain their rights and options under the law.

Source: The News & Record, "Documents reveal N.C. web sex trafficking" No Author Given, Aug. 05, 2013

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