Beach Man Arrested For Prostitution Ring Involving Teenagers

PANAMA CITY BEACH - A Panama City Beach man is due in court Wednesday for a bond hearing on child prostitution charges. Beach Police arrested him today, saying he sold teenage girls for sex.

Panama City Beach Police Investigators arrested 50 year old Joe Worthy Dobbs around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon at his rental unit on the 18th floor of the Laketown Wharf Condominiums.

Major Chad Lindsey of the Panama City Beach Police Department said, "Items of evidentiary value led us to believe that he was operating a prostitution ring out of his condominium."

Dobbs is charged with procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution, deriving proceeds from prostitution, and renting a space to be used for prostitution.

They say the arrest was the result of a top they receive three months ago, about suspicious activity.

Major Lindsey added, "Panama City Beach Police Department received a tip from the national center for missing and exploited children and in conjunction with the Panama City Police Department Investigators conducted a joint investigation which lead us to believe that Dobbs was operating a prostitution ring out of his condominium at Laketown Wharf."

During Tuesday's raid, investigators say they found two underaged girls in Dobbs' condo. They say both admitted to criminal activity and are cooperating with the investigation.

At this point, they do not believe anyone kidnapped the girls and brought them to Bay County. Major Lindsey says the girls were locals here.

Police also believe Dobbs has been living here for a few years, but they're still trying to find out how big of an operation they've uncovered, and who else might be involved.

Major Lindsey said "That part is still under investigation. It's still yet to be determined if there are any further girls out there."

Police say, depending on their investigation, there could be more arrests.


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