South Ga. car dealer offers bus tickets to make hookers leave

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A coastal Georgia used car dealer is offering to send prostitutes who walk along his street bus tickets to Las Vegas in hopes they'll stay, too.

Chip Johnson, owner of Otto Johnson Motors, made the standing offer after seeing the same prostitutes walking along the street and sometimes climbing into cars.

Johnson just happened to mention Vegas as a possible destination, his brother said. Jessie Johnson said the offer is for any place an arrested prostitute wants to go to so long as they promise to not come back.

"I've got people calling from Las Vegas asking me not to send them out there," he said.

It seems that although prostitution is legal in Nevada, it is forbidden inside the city limits of Las Vegas.

Capt. Terry Wright, commander of the Glynn/Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team, said there are some prostitutes on Norwich Street and they tend to be out in the daytime when the Johnsons see them.

"We're not seeing any at night," when the dealership is closed, Wright said.

The enforcement team, which also handles vice crimes, arrested some prostitutes a few months ago. Many of the ones arrested are back on the streets, having made bail or been released for some other reason, Wright said.

"Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is with people out of jobs and no place to live, you're going to have more of it," he said.

Wright said many turn to prostitution to get money to feed drug habits.

In fact, some agencies have offered to come to Brunswick to try to rehabilitate the women, Jessie Johnson said.

Asked whether Otto Johnson Motors had bought any bus tickets yet, he said there had been only one request, from a woman who didn't qualify.

"She'd never been arrested," he said.

terry.dickson@jacksonville.com, (912) 264-0405

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