Memphis police officer accused of sex trafficking

Memphis Police Officer Accused Of Sex Trafficking On The Job
Published: Sep. 18, 2012 at 1:17 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM CDT
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Sean McWhirter
Sean McWhirter

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – A Memphis Police Officer tasked with protecting Bluff City Streets is now accused of spending his time on the job sex trafficking.

Memphis Patrol Officer Sean McWhirter was investigated by the Tarnished Badge Task Force, made up of the FBI, Memphis Police and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. Investigators say it involved prostitution with trips to Tunica and parties in Memphis.

Officer Sean McWhirter, who has been on the force for five years, is now charged with sex trafficking while on duty.

The FBI affidavit gives details of several instances of sex trafficking. Investigators say McWhirter took two women to a Tunica hotel room Sunday night where he was arrested.

It says McWhirter was at work in his patrol car three days earlier when he told a confidential informant he could arrange for women to attend a party and be paid for sex.

One of the women told authorities McWhirter took her to Tunica to strip and engage in prostitution. Investigators say McWhirter said the girls would cost $50 each.

The investigation dates back to more than a year ago.  The informant told investigators McWhirter was seen both on and off duty at nightclubs in Memphis that were known to openly engage in drug use and prostitution. In November last year the informant said McWhirter brought three women to a nightclub and said the women were available as prostitutes for patrons.

"You would think the message would be loud and clear by now," Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said. "We will do this as often as needed in order to rid this department of those who can't make up their minds as to whether they want to be a police officer or a thug."

When I knocked on the door of Sean McWhirter's Frayser home someone turned the lights out and did not answer the door.

Investigators say they have much of what they are accusing Officer Sean McWhirter with on audio and video tape.  The Memphis Police Association had no comment about the accusations against McWhirter.

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