PALM HARBOR – Pinellas County Sheriff’s detective arrested two more suspects June 28 in connection with a case involving procuring juveniles females for prostitution in Palm Harbor.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Crimes Against Children Detectives began receiving complaints in early May that James Garrett Perdue, 61, was harboring runaways and providing them with alcohol and drugs. He was arrested May 23 for procuring juvenile females for prostitution, possession of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia.
Through their investigation, detectives developed information that Perdue had been assisting juveniles engaged in prostitution since January. Detectives served a search warrant at Perdue’s apartment on Ninth Street and found evidence linking to the charges. He was subsequently arrested.
Mikki Lightsey (Pitts), 49, an acquaintance of Perdue’s was arrested at her apartment on June 28 for two counts of procuring a minor for prostitution. Michael Bowers, 19, was in the county jail on unrelated burglary charges. An additional charge was added of procuring a minor for prostitution.
Deputies say Lightsey and Bowers assisted Purdue in the activities for which he was arrested and that the victims were the same as the ones in his illicit activities.
According to detectives, Bowers took photos of the juvenile that were used in the online escort ads. He further provided security to the girls while they were engaged in their appointments.
Detective say Lightsey taught the girls how to best word the ads, suggested how much should be charged for their services, suggested locations/hotels that would be conducive to the prostitution, used her credit card to pay for the online ads, and allowed the juveniles to use her clothes and makeup for their appointments.
According to detectives, Lightsey also had an active online ad in which she offered herself for escort services.
Detectives say they also arrested Stephen Pitts, 20, for grand theft and possession of a firearm with removed serial numbers after their developed information that he had been involved in the theft of a firearm from Palm Harbor. Pitts is Mikki Lightsey’s son.