JOLIET, Ill. (STMW) – The online ad read: “Busty blue eye Nikki is back in town.”
But instead of selling sexual encounters, “Nikki” and other officers in blue busted 33 people who allegedly arranged encounters with prostitutes at local hotels near southwest suburban Joliet.
Police Chief Fred Hayes said Operation: Room Service officially began in January after managers and owners of several hotels contacted the police.
“They’d noticed suspicious activity and believed their businesses were being used for prostitution,” he said. “The tactical unit initiated an investigation throughout the area and found prostitution rings were using social networking websites to meet with clients in hotel rooms.”
Part 1: Prostitutes
The first part of the operation targeted alleged prostitutes and pimps. Undercover tactical and narcotics officers negotiated sex acts and prices, then met suspects at five local hotels.
Twenty-two people were arrested — 12 on felony charges and 10 on misdemeanor prostitution charges.
Police also seized approximately $4,000, four laptop computers, an iPod, a digital camera and 16 cell phones.
Operations began when Joanna P. Peck, 22, of Rockford, was arrested Dec. 30 on a felony prostitution charge.
On Jan. 5, Kristen K. Welch, 28, of Morris, and Frances L. Holman, 41, of Joliet, were arrested and charged with felony prostitution.
Two days later, Shannon L. Washington, 23, of 508 Moen Ave. in Rockdale, and Olga E. Jado, 23, of Romeoville, were charged with misdemeanor prostitution and Natalie S. Danner, 24, was charged with felony prostitution.
Emily L. Dudasik, 20, of Wheaton, and a 17-year-old Rockford girl were charged with misdemeanor prostitution Jan. 8.
The minor’s alleged pimp, Bobby A. Brooker, 41, of Rockford, was jailed on charges of pandering, juvenile pimping and operating a place of juvenile prostitution.
On Jan. 11, Theresa J. Foxx, 52, of Joliet, was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor prostitution, and Ariel A. Utterback, 27, of 355 Duane in Glen Ellyn, was charged with felony prostitution. Utterback was also charged with allegedly having a gram of heroin in her possession.
Lisa M. Sparks, 23, of Joliet, was charged with felony prostitution Jan. 12.
Schyler W. Gann, 18, of Crete Township, was arrested on a misdemeanor prostitution charge Jan. 13. Tameika T. Allen, 30, of Chicago was arrested on a felony charge the same day.
Also on Jan. 13, David A. Mack, 27, of Chicago was charged with pandering and operating a place of prostitution.
The following day, Corinne E. Kopsky, 30, of Chicago, was arrested for felony prostitution, and Ching-Yun Lee, 56, of Santa Clara, Calif., was arrested for misdemeanor prostitution and intent to deliver a controlled substance. Lee allegedly had 28 Ecstasy pills in her possession when she was arrested.
Peck, whose arrest was the first in the sting, again was arrested, this time on a felony prostitution charge Jan. 18.
Elizabeth Chiplis, 20, of Batavia, was charged with misdemeanor prostitution Jan. 20.
Heather L. May, 26, of Joliet, was charged with felony prostitution Jan. 22.
Georgina A. Klammer, 37, of Joliet, was charged with misdemeanor prostitution Jan. 23.
Also charged with misdemeanor prostitution were Socrates Ramirez-Guzman, 33, of Joliet, on Jan. 28 and Jesus R. Martinez-Mendoza, 19, of Joliet, on Feb. 3.
“This was activity you don’t usually see on such a widespread basis,” Hayes said, noting the juvenile pimping charges against Brooker.
“With the advancement of technology, instead of word-of-mouth and looking for a girl on a corner, someone will now surf (online) and with a few clicks of the mouse you can find and negotiate sex acts and a price within minutes.”
<strong<Part II: Clients
With 23 arrests of 22 suspects for alleged prostitution or pimping, police targeted clients, posting ads offering “companionship” and “service” on backpage.com and other websites.
“Within minutes of posting the ads, our undercover phone lines were burning up with calls,” Hayes said.
Three female officers were set up undercover in hotel rooms with video equipment. Apparently expecting to rendezvous with “Busty Blue Eye Nikki” or “Winter Peaches” (and possibly Peaches’ friend Gina for an additional fee), 11 men were arrested on charges of solicitation Thursday and Friday.
Arrested Thursday were: Michael A. Roche, 35, of Joliet; Duane B. Einhaus, 43, of Ottawa; Emmanuel Perez, 23, of Romeoville; and Daniel D. Ochovsky, 37, of Joliet.
Arrested Friday were: Clinton C. Kochan, 25, of Homer Glen; Ronnie E. Davenport, 34, of Bolingbrook; Jeff A. Beard, 28, of Minooka; Phillip K. Whitehead, 43, of Joliet; Chan K. Routhtana, 25, of Aurora; Jason H. Rakowski, 34, of Orland Hills; and Derrick A. Stover, 40, of Channahon.
Reports indicate police seized $2,000 and 11 cell phones from the alleged solicitors. Ten vehicles were also impounded.
Luck was on the side of other would-be clients.
“We received an additional 60 calls (when the ads were posted),” Hayes said, “but just couldn’t get to all of them.”
–Joliet Herald-News, via the Sun-Times Media Wire</e,?