Police in Tuscaloosa arrested 15 men who tried to solicit undercover officers posing as prostitutes during a sting operation this weekend.

Captain Phil Simpson, the commander of the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, said the investigation took place Thursday and Friday night.

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Officers posted ads for sex work online, and the suspects arrested this weekend responded and agreed to meet in person.

Each person met at an agreed-upon location and tried to move forward with the illicit arrangement before their arrests, Simpson said.

“If buyers were not seeking commercial sexual services, sex trafficking would no longer be profitable,” Simpson said. “We hope these operations targeting buyers show that we take this very seriously. Our goal is to prevent future exploitation of human trafficking victims who are forced or coerced into prostitution.”

All 15 suspects were charged with misdemeanor soliciting prostitution. Some face additional felony charges and police said a full list of the suspects' names and charges will be released Monday.

This is the same operation that resulted in the arrest and resignation of Myron Pope, who stepped down as the University of Alabama's Vice President of Student Life Friday following his arrest the night before.

For updates on this operation when they are released Monday, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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