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Police: Canton woman operated brothel

Canton police officers, with the help of state Alcohol Law Enforcement, arrested Barbara Dionne Gray at her home on Oak Street in Canton Friday morning and charged her with solicitation for prostitution and maintaining a dwelling for prostitution. (Photo credit: Haywood County Sheriff's Office)

Canton police officers, with the help of state Alcohol Law Enforcement, arrested Barbara Dionne Gray at her home on Oak Street in Canton Friday morning and charged her with solicitation for prostitution and maintaining a dwelling for prostitution.

Police say the offenses occurred between May 7 and August 11 of 2017. Gray was arrested for the same offense in 2015.

Officers had the home under surveillance since May as they built a case to secure a search warrant, said Canton Police Detective William Small.

Gray’s profile and phone number was included on a website commonly used to find sex, Small said.

Her previous arrests for prostitution, as well as high amounts of traffic, indicated suspicious activity, Small said, but it was interviews with patrons leaving the residence that secured the needed information to obtain a search warrant.

The search warrant permitted officers to collect electronic devices, credit cards and other items that could have been related to possible crimes in the home.

While officers logged numerous license tags from across North Carolina and Tennessee, Small said it is not likely that Gray’s patrons will be investigated.

“This was an ongoing effort by the Canton Police Department to continue to provide a safe environment in our community,” Small said.

This is Gray’s third arrest for prostitution, which makes it a felony.

Gray was booked at the Haywood County Jail.

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