Although it doesn't officially advertise it, Las Vegas has long been known for its thriving sex industry. The ensuing shooting and fiery crash left three dead and the Strip in chaos. Self-proclaimed pimp Ammar Harris is accused of setting the chain of events into motion and now faces the possibility of the death penalty.
The mortally wounded Cherry lost control of his Maserati and the car careened into a taxicab, causing it to burst into flames. The grisly incident briefly flipped the sewer lid on the local street-prostitution racket that thrives on the endless flow of partying tourists who annually sojourn to Sin City. Local police are anything but surprised. Rampant prostitution may be the worst-kept secret in Las Vegas. Karen Hughes and her undercover crew focused on separating teenage prostitutes from the street wolves.
For all the academic chatter about prostitution being a victimless crime, Las Vegas police know that a large percentage of the working women they encounter were turned out in their mid-teens. Bolstered by the passage of Assembly Bill 67, a state law that increases penalties for pandering, along with a cooperative arrangement with the Las Vegas office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the vice detectives try to focus on the violent pimps and their most vulnerable victims.
From to , the years the statistics have been kept, Metro Vice identified 2, minor sex-trafficking victims, defined by federal law as any prostitute under the age of In the past two years, minors, the youngest just 13 years old, were taken from their pimps. Although Las Vegas attracts visitors from all over the world, most of the young prostitutes are recruited locally with nearly two thirds of those hustled from the African-American community. The sex business is booming, and pricy Strip nightclubs and ultra lounges—many of which are subleased by operators who pay high rents to casino corporations—have become a seemingly safe place to hook up.
Before they know it, they get thrown into that pit, so to speak. Cheat Sheet A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know and nothing you don't. You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet.
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Still reeling from the debilitating sting of the economic recession, with tax revenues down and budgets tight, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie is having enough trouble keeping plenty of cops on the streets.