One bloke from Oklahoma has received a rather unwanted accolade…
He became the first ever man in his state to be prosecuted and arrested after being caught in the act with a prostitute by a drone. Awkward.
Anti-prostitution activist Brian Bates had used the unmanned aerial vehicle to help make one of the first john arrests with the aid of a drone.
Bates is a private investigator and operator of JohnTV, a website that offers videos of suspected johns soliciting sex. He tracked a woman who he tagged as a ‘known prostitute’ to an industrial area in Oklahoma City that has a reputation for prostitution encounters, according to Ars Technica.
Local police records showed Douglas Blansett, 75, was arrested and released on Thursday.
Bates often uses a camcorder to catch people out, but this time he opted a bit more of a tech-savvy option which seems like it paid off. He used this more cautious option as he believed a second lookout car driven by a ‘violent pimp’ was nearby.
The footage – taken in March 2015 – shows Bates spotting the john’s white pickup truck. Once spotted her lowers the drone down to windshield level. Once the john realises what’s happening he quickly sits up and drives out of the tire yard frantically.
Speaking to News 9 Bates said:
I’ve actually caught several people on this piece of property. It got footage, that otherwise, I don’t think I would’ve gotten. They were parked in an area where they could’ve seen any one walking up on them.
He then offered the video to law enforcement, who arrested Blansett and sex worker Amanda Zolicoffer. Oklahoma County prosecutors charged both of them for engaging in an act of lewdness- a misdemeanor.
Blansett pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday and Zollicoffer has also pleaded not guilty to the charges. She is due in court on December 9, while Blansett will appear in court on January 7.
Bates has tracked and videoed sex workers and johns since 1996, according to his website.
So drones can be pretty handy in the fight against crime… apparently. Who knew?