(Memphis) A Memphis police officer has been charged with sex trafficking.
According to the Department of Justice, 30-year-old Sean McWhirter was arrested late Sunday night.
A news release stated, “while on duty and in his patrol car, McWhirter agreed to transport three women to a location in Tunica, Mississippi for the purpose of prostitution.”
It says McWhirter was off duty Sunday when he, “delivered two women from Memphis, Tennessee, to a hotel in Tunica, Mississippi. Upon entering the room with the women, McWhirter was arrested by Special Agents and Task Force Officers of the FBI.”
If convicted, McWhirter faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Police Director Toney Armstrong said in a statement: “You would think the message would be loud and clear by now. 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.”
An extensive report by the FBI showed that a whistle blower kept contact with McWhirter for months, recording certain conversations.
The source also told authorities there were videos of McWhirter doing a sex act with one of the women in a Memphis nightclub.
He also allegedly told authorities McWhirter was seen in a Memphis nightclub, promoting women for prostitution.
The source eventually set McWhirter up, requesting women to perform sex acts at a party. McWhirter allegedly accepted money while he was on duty, through the window of his patrol car.
McWhirter also reportedly told the source one of the women would probably not perform any sex acts in front of him because they were dating.
Memphis residents hearing about the arrest were appalled.
“I think that’s horrible. Poor Memphis,” said Louise Singletary. “Nowadays you don’t know what do-right look like, do you? Because it’s not a police officer. Not in Memphis.”
Marilyn League said a police officer engaging in such acts is appalling. “He just needs to learn to keep it in his pants, and keep it zipped up, you know?”
She’s pleased at the work of Memphis police director Toney Armstrong.
“He’s rooting out a lot of the corruption in the police department that’s probably been there for a long time,” League said.