Three men arrested in South Bend prostitution sting - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Three men arrested in South Bend prostitution sting

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South Bend Police arrested three men in an overnight prostitution sting.

Lieutenant Daniel Skibins said the Street Crimes Unit conducted a prostitution sting at an undisclosed location in the city Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Skibins said the investigation was sparked by several complaints and tips regarding the website southbendbackpage.com being used for the solicitation of prostitution.  He said it is a craigslist type website.  During their investigation they saw people primarily posting about massages and escorts, but there were also the prostitution posts.

During the sting 56-year-old David Ford of St. Joseph, Michigan, 23-year-old Nathan Jenkins of Rochester, and 34-year-old Brandon Mafuleka of Mishawaka were arrested.

They were all booked at the St. Joseph County jail on preliminary charges of patronizing a prostitute.  "Our objective in all of this is to deter people from using the internet, social media, Southbendbackpage for committing criminal acts," said Skibins.

Skibins said they started receiving tips about the website a year ago.  He admits it took a lot of manpower to carry out the sting but said it was well worth it to prevent crimes and keep residents safe.  "There have been setups where people have been assaulted or robbed so not only is the crime of prostitution taking place but other crimes can stem from it as well," said Skibins.

Skibins said the investigation is ongoing so there will be more stings in the future and possibly more arrests.

Police Chief Ron Teachman responded to the prostitution arrests saying, "As the sex for a fee industry moves from the streets to online, we adjust our demand reduction tactics accordingly. I hope this operation and those that will follow send a message to potential customers: The women of South Bend are cherished and they are not for sale."

 

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