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16 men arrested in prostitution sting at Columbia hotel

Deputies said they used several website where buyers in the Columbia area typically go.
Credit: KGW

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Richland County deputies have arrested 16 men in a prostitution sting. 

Deputies say they conducted a six-hour operation at a local hotel Thursday. The operation was set up to go after johns who may have been looking for prostitutes. The focus was on the buyer, and investigators used various websites that are known where the buyers can go to see what is available in the Columbia area, according to deputies.

One of the suspects is a retired secret service agent, while another is in the Navy.

Deputies say the suspects are all charged with solicitation of prostitution.

Officers said they got help from community partners who donated the use of the room and cameras.