Hotel manager arrested on human trafficking charges in Tuscaloosa

Hotel manager arrested on human trafficking charges in Tuscaloosa
(Source: WBRC Video)
Shirley Sparks (Source: Tuscaloosa PD)
Shirley Sparks (Source: Tuscaloosa PD)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa police hauled out the LaQuinta Inn's General Manager in handcuffs Thursday morning as part of an ongoing investigation.

A grand jury indicted 65 year-old Shirley Sparks on two counts of human trafficking.

"New evidence has been developed that implicated the General Manager," said to Lt. Darren Beams.

In June 2017, police arrested James Warren at the same hotel on human trafficking charges.

"Apparently he had been staying here off and on for over three years and had a well established criminal enterprise going on at this location," Lt. Beams said.

Thursday's arrest didn't surprise Pebbles Rice, who manages a business near the hotel.

"When they arrested the guys for human trafficking they were regulars in this store," Rice told WBRC.

Rice said customers and others grew concerned over the past few months of suspicious activity in the area.

"People would always come in, women would be dressed weird. They'd have a bunch of money. They would say they're from out of town. So it was always some strange activity going on over there," Rice went on to say.

"We're going to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone in our area including owners and hotel personnel that are complicit or benefitting in any way from human trafficking," Beams concluded.

Sparks is the second manager or hotel owner Tuscaloosa Police have arrested on prostitution or human trafficking charges in less than a year.

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