PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Police in Pawtucket and Central Falls teamed up this month in an effort to crack down on prostitution in their communities.
The goal of the undercover sting was to diminish sex trafficking, which police said is affecting the quality of life in the area.
According to police, female officers from Pawtucket, Central Falls and Cranston posed as prostitutes in high-traffic areas of the two cities. As a result, 16 people were arrested on various charges.
The first night of the operation took place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on April 18-19 in the areas of Dexter Street and Broad Street.
Renee Hoban, 46, of Pawtucket, was arrested on one count of loitering for prostitution while seven men were picked up on a charge of procurement of sexual conduct for a fee:
- Fernandel Berard, 35, of Attleboro
- Arthur Messier, 50, of Central Falls
- Eddy Ramirez, 42, of Central Falls
- Wanker Rene, 33, of Pawtucket
- Julio Rodas, 27, of Johnston
- Kevin Valladares, 23, of Pawtucket
- Hilary Wun Meen, 55, of Pawtucket
Khary Jones, 33, of Dorchester, Mass. was charged with one count of pandering or permitting prostitution, police said.
On Thursday, Aug. 31, police conducted a second sting throughout both cities and took seven more suspects into custody.
The following were charged with procurement of sexual conduct for a free:
- Amancio Gomes, 42, of Providence
- Ildo Gomes, 51, of Pawtucket
- Ravy Pires, 27, no permanent address
- Angel Vicente, 33, no permanent address
The following were charged with soliciting from a motor vehicle for indecent purposes:
- Albert Crawford, 66, of East Providence
- Lawrence Desormier, 51, of Chepachet
- James Doren, 64, of Pawtucket