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Flowery Branch woman arrested in sex-trafficking sting

71 arrested, 11 recovered from prostitution in Georiga

POSTED: June 25, 2014 12:54 a.m.

A Flowery Branch woman was one of more than 70 Georgia residents arrested in a child sex-trafficking sting.

According to the jail docket, Tarah Cassandra Ellis, 34, was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on June 17 on a charge of prostitution. She was released on Monday.

The address she gave as her residence is off Browning Drive, near the intersection of Atlanta and Winder highways.

More than 70 people were arrested and 11 children were rescued from prostitution in Georgia as part of a national child sex-trafficking sting, officials in the FBI’s Atlanta field office said Monday.

Information surrounding the details of Ellis’ arrest was not immediately available. Federal investigators targeted truck stops, casinos, websites and streets to make initial arrests for prostitution or solicitation. Information gathered during those arrests usually brought forth details leading to larger organized prostitution rings — some of which were operating across state lines, authorities said.

Investigators along with authorities in Macon, Augusta and Savannah participated in the weeklong sting operation, which led to arrests on charges including pimping, prostitution and solicitation, a statement said. The operation was conducted in 106 cities across the country.

Arrests in Georgia included 18-year-old women charged with prostitution and a 51-year-old metro Atlanta man who was charged with attempted child molestation and enticement, authorities said.

The 71 suspects who were arrested in Georgia were also from South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois and New York.

The operation resulted in the arrest of 281 accused pimps, including 15 in Georgia. Authorities said 168 children nationwide were rescued from prostitution during the sting.

“Targeting and harming America’s children through commercial sex trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious consequences,” FBI Director James Comey said in a statement. “Every child deserves to be safe and sound. Through targeted measures like Operation Cross Country, we can end the cycle of victimization.”

Times staff reporter Carly Sharec contributed to this report.


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