Prostituted individuals, some underage, operated in at least one local motel, and pounds of drugs arrived in the area, all orchestrated by a group of men who discussed their activities on social media, according to affidavits for search warrants served at nine Northwest Arkansas homes last month.
Charges will result from the investigation, conducted by local police and agents from the federal Department of Homeland Security, said Kevin Metcalf, Washington County deputy prosecuting attorney.
The U.S. Senate approved, 96-0, a contempt resolution againstBackpage.com on March 17, declaring the company had failed to testify under subpoena in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee investigation of child trafficking in prostitution. It was the first such contempt resolution since 1995, according to news accounts.
"This investigation has a lot of moving parts to it. We're in the process of deciding which agency will prosecute what. We're cooperating with the U.S. attorney's office, and we have a lot of data to go through and a lot of people to talk to," Metcalf said.
The online social network Facebook and a teenager whose name remains a secret are key sources in the investigation, according to the affidavits.