A Maine Coast Guard employee arrested during a prostitution sting operation last night claims she was forced into prostitution to pay her bills and feed her family because of the government shutdown.

Marleen Freeman, 38, a Coast Guard employee for the past 12 years, told South Portland police officers that the government shutdown left her with no other choice but to prostitute herself to put food on the table.

Freeman was also found in the possession of crystal meth, crack cocaine, anabolic steroids, PCP and methamphetamines which she also admitted to selling to take care of her unemployed husband as well as her three young children.

“We discussed selling her kidneys but someone told us it could be dangerous for her health” her husband, Tyrone Freeman, told reporters.

Husband Tyrone Freeman told reporters he felt devastated after his wife, Marleen Freeman, was arrested during a prostitution sting operation by South Portland police.

“She is the sole provider of our family and when she proposed to sell her body to pay the bills, I refused, but then we realized it was our only choice,” he told reporters, visibly shattered.

Tyrone Freeman says he doesn’t have the money to pay the $10,000 bail for his wife, and that he has no idea how he will feed his three children who are aged 8, 6 and 3.

“I had a job as a video game tester for 18 months but then I started having pain in one of my wrists and have since been unemployed for the past three years,” he acknowledges.

A Coast Guard spokesman would not comment on this particular situation but did admit that the partial government shutdown has put an “increasing strain” on the 41,000 active-duty Coast Guardsmen who are working without pay.

Overall, about 420,000 government employees are working under the promise they will be paid retroactively, with nearly another 350,000 on furlough at home.