A New Jersey law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that the New Jersey Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is investigating allegations of prostitution and prostitution-related trafficking in the New Brunswick, N.J., area.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.
The New Brunswick Times-Union first reported the allegations in March.
It was not immediately clear how many cases the department has identified.
A New Brunswick Police Department spokesman said the department was aware of the allegations and is “investigating and will prosecute the individuals responsible.”
The spokesman said a sergeant assigned to the investigation unit was placed on administrative leave on Monday.
A spokeswoman for the corrections department did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Police have arrested four men for prostitution in the city of Newark since mid-March.
The officials who spoke to AP said the arrests were made in New Brunswick’s south side.
Officials have been unable to identify a suspect and said there are no suspects in the other three cases.
The department has launched a criminal investigation, according to a spokesman.
The men are accused of selling sex on the street and soliciting people to engage in sex acts for money, according a statement from the New York-based sex trafficking prevention and advocacy group Project Hope.
The arrests occurred on New Year’s Eve, according the statement.
The police department said in its statement that it is conducting an internal investigation into the allegations.
Police did not provide a reason for the department’s decision to suspend the sergeant.
The Associated The Associated news service contributed to this report.