11 Face Charges After Day-long Prostitution Sting In Wayne County
Eleven people face charges after a day-long prostitution sting Tuesday that the Wayne County district attorney called a first for the county.
Wayne County detectives arrested six men for patronizing alleged prostitutes, as well as four women accused of trading sex for money and one man who set up the transactions.
“This prostitution sting is a first for Wayne County, at least in the last 25 years that I have worked in the District Attorney’s Office,” district attorney Patrick L. Robinson said in a press release. “The purpose of this prostitution sting was to create a public awareness and deter anyone from buying sex.”
Robinson said the sting consisted of two separate operations, one targeting customers and another targeting prostitutes.
As part of the latter operation, officers were looking for others involved in setting up or transporting prostitutes to and from appointments.
Prince Rodriguez, 33, of Wilkes-Barre, was charged with two counts of promoting prostitution. When police took him into custody, he carried a loaded 9 mm pistol. Investigators later found a loaded 12-gauge short barreled shotgun and a small amount of marijuana in the car, as well as a loaded semi-automatic rifle and a bandolier of 12-gauge slugs in his trunk. The investigation into the guns is ongoing, Robinson said.
He remains in Wayne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday.
Detectives also arrested six men with patronizing prostitutes and disorderly conduct:
n Brian Merritt, 40, of Honesdale.
n Jason Nepa, 36, of Jefferson Twp.
n Michael Bauman, 63, of Pittston.
n John Menapace, 73, of Lake Ariel.
n David Pomeren, 62, of South Abington Twp.
n David Ferguson, 36, of Port Jervis, New York.
All will be charged via mail, Robinson said.
In addition, four women were arrested:
n Jessica Goodwin, 24, of Scranton, prostitution, possession with drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct.
n Alyssa Giordano, 29, of Bloomfield, New Jersey, prostitution and disorderly conduct.
n Latasha Valera, 36, of Wilkes-Barre, two counts of promoting prostitution.
n Samantha Rydzy, 22, of Dupont, two counts of promoting prostitution.
Valera and Rydzy remain in Wayne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail. Goodwin and Giordano will be charged via mail.
Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Wednesday.
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