CONYERS — Four Atlanta-area women have been arrested on prostitution charges at a local hotel as part of an FBI-led initiative targeting child exploitation and child prostitution nationwide.
The women, ranging in age from 18 to 22, were arrested Friday, July 26, at LaQuinta Inn on Dogwood Drive. The Conyers Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisted in the arrests.
FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said the Atlanta Field Office’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force conducted operations during the week of July 22 to identify, locate and recover child victims of sexual exploitation for profit and to apprehend and prosecute those responsible for their sexual exploitation. The Augusta FBI office conducted a similar effort on July 17 and 18.
Emmett said the FBI’s initiatives in Georgia resulted in the recovery of two juveniles and 17 arrests on pimping and prostitution charges.
Incident reports obtained from the Conyers Police Department showed that the four prostitution arrests at LaQuinta were made last Friday between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The women were identified as Jonetta Lattrice Torres, 21, of Lithonia; Ozlem Galina Adams, 22, of Atlanta; Quashawna Fowler, 18, of Atlanta; and Brittany Nicole Favors, 22, of Decatur.
The FBI operation, dubbed Operation Cross Country VII, included enforcement actions in 75 cities across 47 FBI divisions nationwide and led to the recovery of 105 children who were being victimized through prostitution, according to the FBI. In addition, 150 pimps were arrested on state and federal charges.
“Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to address the growing problem of child prostitution.
“Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America’s children are being sold for sex every day, many on the Internet,” said John Ryan, CEO of NCMEC. “We’re honored and proud to partner with the FBI, which has taken the lead in tackling this escalating problem.”
To date, the FBI and its task force partners have recovered more than 2,700 children from the streets. The investigations and subsequent 1,350 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 10 life terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.
Task Force operations usually begin as local enforcement actions that target truck stops, casinos, street “tracks,” and websites that advertise dating or escort services, based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions. Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation. Information gleaned from those arrested frequently uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states. FBI agents further develop this evidence in partnership with U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section so that prosecutors can help bring federal charges in those cities where child prostitution occurs.