Cincinnati police undercover arrests on McMicken latest effort against prostitution

Sting nets five arrests of suspected 'johns'

CINCINNATI – He thought he'd cruise up McMicken for some quick paid-for sex.

Instead 26-year-old Kahrie Burton found himself handcuffed and in the back of a police cruiser Tuesday afternoon.  He was one of five accused johns Cincinnati police arrested as part of a one-two punch on fighting prostitution along the 2.3-mile stretch of McMicken Avenue.

The arrests come on the heels of the city barricading the area and amid calls from city leaders to make public all the names of those arrested soliciting a prostitute, calls that come just four months after a prostitution was slain there.

Officials are energizing a push to focus and dissuade those prowling McMicken Avenue for prostitutes.

For three hours Tuesday afternoon, undercover vice section investigators arrested the five men – all between 26 and 35 years old – and charged them in connection with soliciting and loitering to solicit, police said.

In addition to Burton, Randy Larkin, 34, of Mount Healthy; Anthony Jones 35, of Over-the-Rhine; Johnny Hunter, 32, of Avondale; and Darnell Gaines, 28, of Cheviot, were booked into the Hamilton County jail.

The latest “reverse prostitution sting” is considered phase II of the city’s battle against prostitution in the McMicken corridor, officials said. Phase I was implemented last week when District 1 officers put up barricades to try to keep johns from cruising the street. The first barriers went up Wednesday along McMicken Avenue and two more are scheduled.

And from Columbus, Attorney General Mike DeWine told WCPO the issue of prostitution falls under the larger umbrella of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking occurs in Cincinnati, Cleveland Columbus, not just in Bangkok,” DeWine said. “It takes intense efforts, it takes some resources, and a court that’s focused on that.

“I’m not going to tell council what to do, but it’s important to focus on the johns that are getting the service, and make them pay a heavier penalty. How council decides to that that is up to them.”
     Councilmembers Amy Murray and Yvette Simpson proposed notifying spouses and establishing prostitution court as one way to crack down on johns.

Insiders can read more about Cincinnati police initiatives to fight prostitution and what prompted the action.

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