Police in Tuscaloosa arrested 26 men and rescued a victim of human trafficking this month as part of the 2019 National Johns Suppression Initiative, a spokeswoman announced Wednesday afternoon.

The Tuscaloosa Police Department's Lt. Teena Richardson said officers with the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force conducted an undercover operation on the weekends of January 25th and February 2nd to find men soliciting prostitutes along the I-20 corridor.

Richardson did not individually identify the suspects, but said the 26 men faced charges that included soliciting prostitution, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of cocaine, unlawful possession of marijuana, third-degree promotion of prostitution and traveling to meet a minor for an unlawful sex act.

In addition to the arrests, one victim of human trafficking was rescued, Richardson said.

She said the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force was the only law enforcement agency in the state to participate in this year's NJSI and that the task force placed fifth nationally.

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