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Four men charged with solicitation online

Four men charged with solicitation online

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Four men have been arrested by the Rapid City Police Department on misdemeanor charges of attempting to solicit prostitutes over the Internet.

Joshua Twomey, 36, of Black Hawk; Douglas Purcell, 45, of Sturgis; Jamie Loftus, 29, and Loren Kingman, 55, both of Rapid City were each arrested Thursday in Rapid City, according to a news release from the department.

A conviction on the misdemeanor charge could bring a one-year prison sentence, a $2,000 fine or both.

Police spokeswoman Tarah Heupel said the arrests were part of an ongoing operation to stem the tide of prostitution in Rapid City. She said trying to halt prostitution over the Internet has been a priority of the police department for several years.

Ten people have been arrested in 2013 for soliciting prostitution, which includes the four men arrested Thursday, Heupel said.

People who try to solicit prostitutes online, as well as people who attempt to advertise prostitution services online, are targeted by the operation, she said.

Heupel declined to detail how the arrests are made or which websites are used because it could compromise the ongoing operation, she said.

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