LOWELL — An operation that police said was conducted in response to concerns raised by the community about prostitution in parts of the city led to eight arrests last Saturday night.
Lowell Police reports available in court documents state the Special Investigations Section conducted a “prostitution sweep” in the Back Central and Highlands neighborhoods, which resulted in the arrest of four men and four women.
All but one of the arrests occurred in the Back Central neighborhood.
The following men were arrested and charged with attempting to hire a prostitute: Cypher Anderson, 22, of East Boston; Kelly Warui, 22, of Newton, N.H.; Uyhout Eav, 24, of Lowell; and Williams Guzman, 43, of Lowell.
Lisa Blake, 41, of Lowell, was charged with offering sex for money.
Court documents show the charge of sexual conduct for pay levied against two of the women were dismissed at their arraignment on Monday. The reason for the charges being thrown out was not immediately provided by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
Police said a fourth woman was charged on an outstanding warrant during the operation.
Interim Police Superintendent Barry Golner said the sweep was organized following concerns raised by neighborhood groups and the City Council about prostitution being visible on city streets.
According to Golner, the sweep was conducted under the direction of Capt. Frank Nobrega, who is the head of the department’s investigative services
Detectives with the Special Investigations Section conducted surveillance and undercover operations, mostly in the areas of Appleton, Central and Gorham streets. Court documents state as part of the sweep detectives would sit in vehicles and pose as “Johns.” They wait to make contact with a suspect offering sex for money before other officers move in and make an arrest.
Court documents also state that police also conducted reverse stings, which had female police officers pose as street walkers. They wait until a John propositions them before more police officers move in to make an arrest.
“This is something the police department used to do more of, but like anything, it’s manpower and funding to conduct operations and a lot of planning, so we want to make sure we do things right,” Golner said.
All suspects were arraigned in Lowell District Court by Judge Daniel Crane on Monday. They were each released on their own recognizance with return dates scheduled in June.
Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis.
Source: The Sun
Feature story coming soon on prostitution in Houston involving Kenyan Women.