Online prostitution sting leads to 11 arrests
By Joe Beck
Winchester police have charged 11 men, two of them from Front Royal and two from Stephens City, on charges of prostitution as a result of an undercover sting operation conducted Friday.
Each of the defendants, identified by authorities as customers of prostitutes, was charged and released on summonses.
They are: Hassan Bah, 19, of Stephens City; Charles Bowling Jr., 31, of Stephens City; David Cafini, 43, of Warrenton; Gilmer Estrada-Alvarado, 30, of Greenbelt, Md.; Kyle McDaniel, 44, of Stephens City; Rogelio Meza, 24, of Front Royal; Gildardo Morales-Peralta, 24, of Winchester; Scott Naylor, 36, of Winchester; Teddy Newman, 54, of Hedgesville, W.Va.; Russell Partlow III, 34, of Front Royal; and Jose Suazo, 38, of Harrisonburg.
Partlow was also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Police spokeswoman Lauren Cummings said police used confidential informants and Internet advertising in setting up the arrests.
Cummings said the defendants responded to the online advertising by appearing at an unidentified Winchester hotel. Police arrested them after they exchanged money for sex, Cummings said.
The arrests are the third in a series police have made since January involving undercover investigations targeting prostitution customers.
An operation on March 27, led by the Mount Jackson police, resulted in the arrests of seven people, including James W. “Jim” Deskins, 59, the former director of economic redevelopment for Winchester and the former executive director of the city’s economic development authority.
Police from Woodstock, New Market, Winchester and the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office also participated in the investigation.
Winchester police also arrested three women and a man on prostitution-related charges in mid-January.
Cummings said police have noticed more prostitution in the area.
“The goal of these undercover investigations is to send a message to the public that we will not tolerate this illegal behavior in the city, and we will charge,” Cummings said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org