.

More than 30 Arrested in Prostitution Sting

The sting was conducted in five College Park area hotels over two days.

More than 30 people were arrested this week in a prostitution sting conducted at College Park hotels, according to Prince George's County police.

The operation was carried out in conjunction with the FBI Human Trafficking Unit.

“Prostitution is a gateway crime," Capt. Leigh Mints said in a statement. “We want to let everyone know this kind of activity is not something we want in this county and we’re doing all we can to prevent it.”

As part of the operation, female officers posing as prostitutes engaged would-be johns on the phone after placing phony ads on solicitation websites.

On Wednesday, 13 men were arrested on a charge of assignation—the act of meeting up with the purpose of exchanging sex for money—and six women were arrested on prostitution charges in five College Park hotels, according police.

On Thursday night, police said 11 more men were arrested and charged with assignation and six more individuals for prostitution. All involved were adults. 

Police charged the following individuals as part of the sting:

  • John Amtequera, 33, of Silver Spring
  • Oscar Benitez, 42, of West Lanham
  • Joseph Cadet, 46, of Beltsville
  • Jamesyin Chi, 42, of Rockville
  • Mahndel Green, 39, of Bowie
  • Mark Hallenman, 55, of Annapolis
  • Niegel Kham, 27, of Beltsville
  • Keith Lambkin, 34, of College Park
  • Asburton Nelson, 50, of Silver Spring
  • Visuas Patel, 42, of Laurel
  • Anig Sawat, 49, of Berwin, Md.
  • Clifton Stone, 52, of Bladensburg
  • Michael Zeydelis, 40, of Reisterstown
  • Alexis Williams, 29, of Cleveland, OH
  • Channel Karnes, 23, of Orlando, FL
  • Jershelle Bey-Wilson, 24, of Washington, DC
  • Bernadette Harper, 27, of Washington, DC
  • Angela Oladiji, 23, of Washington, DC
  • Gloria Reyes, 42, of Hyattsville
Emil Farkwarp August 03, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Huge pot bust recently, now this. NOW what do I do this weekend?
morgan gale August 03, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Perhaps you can develop your own friendships that don't involve exploitation. Just a thought.
Lynn D August 04, 2012 at 12:39 AM
With murder in the streets, why is entrapment a priority?
buckeye August 04, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Although the names of the hotels are not mentioned I can take a guess as to which ones were included in the raid. There have been ongoing problems at at least two hotels in College Park that I know of. Someone needs to take a close look at who owns and manages these properties because they are not being operated in a way that is good for surrounding communities. This raid was needed a long time ago. Hats off to the county police for finally exposing this and undertaking the sting operation.
Vanessa August 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Considering the violent crime rate in PG I'm sure their time and our tax dollars could have been better spent.
Jay Friedman August 05, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Anne Arundel police busted a prostitution ring working out of the group of hotels near BWI a month or so ago. Now we have a bust in College Park. I know prostitution often involves other criminal elements. However, with the shooting at the McDonalds Friday night and the Burger King robbery, I wonder if we are focusing on the right issues.
Kristin August 06, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Prostitution is not just a "gateway" crime- it causes a lot of damage on its own. Many girls are coerced into it and others were "recruited" as minors. The average age for a girl to enter into prostitution in the US is 12 or 13. This is not a victimless crime.
Kristin August 06, 2012 at 03:59 PM
To anyone that doubts the tremendous amount of abuse and exploitation present in the sex industry, I would suggest this documentary called "Very Young Girls." http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Very_Young_Girls/70102769?locale=en-US
Vanessa August 06, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I saw your comment...then I scrolled and noted that not only were the women arrested not teens most of them would be considered "mature". Just because I like to check actual facts I looked into this. The last report listing the average age of new prostitutes as being 13 was released in 1982. Since then, that information was found to be erroneous. You can check this and other interesting math tricks of great controversy at www.eminism.com. It's a feminist website (sorry this seems like an issue where women would be more reliable) and it notes that in the last 10 years the trade has begun attracting a high number of women with college educations and affluent backgrounds. Background aside it's more than obvious that these chicks didn't come around this Spring.
Kristin August 06, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Vanessa- Many of the women that are more "mature" in the industry started when they were minors. I'm not sure where you got that 1982 date, because the Department of Justice still cites that number from studies done in 2005 and after. The website you gave me didn't work. Is there a typo in it? I suggest that you see the documentary that I mentioned and learn more about the sex industry. You will see that it is fraught with physical and emotional abuse as well as psychological manipulation. The pimps act much like batterers in cases of domestic violence and create a sense of dependency to make the woman stay.
Kristin August 06, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Also, I sincerely doubt that there is a "high number of women" that would spent the time, money and effort to get college degrees and then become prostitutes. Not only is the profession illegal most places, but it is extremely dangerous. The prostitutes aren't even the ones making all of the money- it's the pimps.
Jay Friedman August 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
This comment string could go on forever. It is not called the worlds oldest profession by accident.. It would be nice to think we could end this, but it goes on. Different hotels, same/different people. I want to know more about organization running the ring. The word pimp usually refers to one man working his women. Today, the operations are much bigger, multi-state and often involve complex groups. It is not just one ,as MS -13 has been linked to the industry, but also old school Mafia, and regional rings run by regional drug dealers, auto theft groups etc. Sometimes the hotels are involved. Small hotels have been known to be owned by the organization running the ring. In the case of the BWI Airport ring, police found that the girls were coming into town in small groups and using mainstream large chain hotels. No need to drive into the area, they flew in on cheap seats, caught a shuttle to the hotel. Airfare just a cost of doing business. Better hotels to draw better clients with more money. It is always about how the business can generate more cash flow. Lastly, the police are in a tough position. They cannot afford to ignore this issue, however, with agency cutbacks,, often times the departments are busy running from murder to murder and prostitution takes a back seat. Do know that loud enough complaints about specific homes/hotels will be acted upon. Elected officials often appoint the chief.
ANG August 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Kristin is absolutely right.
ZoeB August 07, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Obviously you don't live near one of these rat holes. I do. And believe me, there is much more going on besides the prostitution. When I complained to management about one of their "tenants" dealing in the neighborhood, the manager was loud and nasty letting me know she didn't care.
Earnest Hawkins Jr August 08, 2012 at 08:39 PM
A small percentage of the Johns are married men and take the diseases they catch from prostitutes back home to their wives.
kev January 29, 2013 at 02:29 AM
2 consenting adults, what the @#$@#%#^ is the problem? It is their body and they should be allowed to do as they wish with it as long as they are not harming anyone. In the end we all pimp ourself out in one way or another to make a living. Get over yourself.
Kristin January 29, 2013 at 03:08 PM
That is the problem- a lot of prostitutes are NOT consenting adults but victims of sex trafficking.

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