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Aug-10-2007 20:31printcomments

Salem Police Conduct Prostitution Sting

While this operation was aimed primarily at the Johns, police say other operations have focused on the prostitutes who provide the sexual favors.

Police sting art

(SALEM, Ore.) - Salem Police conducted a prostitution sting Thursday night, using undercover female peace officers as decoys. They arrested several men for soliciting prostitution during the operation.

Lt Dave Okada with Salem Police says the sting was aimed at "Johns" who stop to offer prostitutes money for sexual favors. "Once a John made contact with the undercover officer and probable cause to make an arrest was established, the suspect was arrested," he said.

"During the operation the decoy officers were approached by suspects who were in vehicles as well as on bicycles, and the suspects did not hesitate to approach the decoy officers while in plain view of the public."

Okada says that despite the proximity to the citizens who were in the area, great measures were taken to minimize any danger to the public and to make the arrests as discreetly as possible.

"Prostitution is a very serious crime that can have a negative effect on the livability of a neighborhood and the safety of the residents. Not only does it attract potential sexual offenders to the area, it also goes hand in hand with narcotics usage and other related crimes," Okada said.

Residents who live in areas affected by prostitution have reported being propositioned by potential Johns as they walk down the street, having their children approached by Johns and also finding hazardous remnants of sexual and/or drug activity strewn about the streets.

While this operation was aimed primarily at the Johns, Okada says other operations have focused on the prostitutes who provide the sexual favors.

"The goal of these operations is to disrupt prostitution activities as much as possible and to send a clear message to both the prostitutes and the Johns that this activity is not acceptable and their continued participation will get them arrested and put in jail."

He says that by utilizing undercover officers, neither the prostitutes nor the Johns will know for sure if they are dealing with a police officer or not.

43-year old Dale Leroy Aasted of Salem was arrested for Prostitution and a Parole Violation Detainer. 40-year old Gregorio Flores-Aguilar of Salem was arrested for Prostitution and Parole Violation Detainer. 29-year old Jesus Figueroa-Ramirez of Salem was arrested for Prostitution, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana Within 1000 feet of a School, No Operator's License. Seized 1.5 grams of Marijuana.

18-year old Jose Antonio Renteria of Salem was arrested for Interfering with a Police Officer and Trespass.

Miguel A. Zacatenco-Lopez of Salem whosse age is unknown was arrested for Prostitution and cited for Driving While Suspended.

33-year old Sergio Enrique Alcantar-Denis of Salem was arrested for Prostitution, Failure to Carry/Present an Operator's License, Possession of a Forged Instrument and No Operator's License. 60-year old Benjamin Ngeluk of Salem was arrested for Prostitution and cited for No Headlights. The Salem Police Department Street Crimes Unit, assisted by the Keizer Police Department and Marion County Sheriff's Office Parole and Probation all participated in the sting operation.

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Goddess_Enigma April 6, 2010 5:03 pm (Pacific time)

I can understand when the act involves the "public" being able to have a clear indication that something "pubic" is going on, but in cases like the bust last December in a small Central California Coast town where five girls were arrested in a sting using a website that requires those who access the restricted site to verify that they are 18 years old before they continue on to the listings, that is completely private and no one, including neighbors or someone's children, are approached or are even aware of the private arrangement.

Howard September 6, 2008 11:46 pm (Pacific time)

The idea of asking is old law in Oregon. Now, police and even attorneys can lie in undercover operations to get a conviction. Look up the statute in Oregon (ORS 167.002) and make sure you do NOT do what it prohibits. Offering sex for money is a crime. Offering sex to an accountant and asking if the accountant will have sex with you - not a crime. Just be careful, and that goes for providers and customers. And if you are truly concerned, get current, accurate legal advice for your situation. P.S. If you are arrested, shut the hell up and ask for an attorney. No good comes from sharing your thoughts with police unless you are asking for directions.

Robin Chick August 17, 2007 5:05 pm (Pacific time)

Free enterprise baby! Prostitution only hearts prostitutes and in a little town like Salem prostitution is a choice. My question is why is this getting so much attention when cases like the one in tennessee involving a multiple homicide committed by 5 people has recieved any. This truly demonstrates how heavily the media relies on sex to interest thier viewers!

James August 14, 2007 8:08 am (Pacific time)

"Residents who live in areas affected by prostitution have reported being propositioned by potential Johns as they walk down the street, having their children approached by Johns and also finding hazardous remnants of sexual and/or drug activity strewn about the streets." - What the hell is wrong with you people? This is a good thing. There are now several more people that won't be trying to pick up the thirteen year old girls walking down the street. The residents of that community were glad to see it happen regardless of what you "legalize everything" type want to believe.

Nory King August 13, 2007 10:58 am (Pacific time)

The final word of the first paragraph is "opertion," perhaps operation was the intended word?

Nory- thanks!

S.LaMarche; August 11, 2007 6:08 pm (Pacific time)

rumor has it my ex-wife was cited for over charging. I know how the guy feels, believe me!

Deb August 11, 2007 1:26 pm (Pacific time)

Neal and Vic say it right. This is soooo stupid. I always wonder what these 'Johns' would be doing if they weren't lured in by a sting. Probably sitting around with their buddies bragging about how they once got lucky. Stings turn ordinary citizens into criminals. I find it interesting that 3 of the 5 are possibly of Mexican decent. Remembering my trips to Mexico, I know a little of their culture, and some things we think nothing of, they would be offended by, and vice versa. Way to go, 'Salem's Finest'. Sheesh!

Vic August 11, 2007 11:40 am (Pacific time)

I am glad to hear that Salem , which had one of the highest crime rates in the NW, evidently has no more serious crime ! No more record burglaries, assaults and meth use. Now all the police have to keep themselves busy is bust guys trying to get laid. Hey , it is a lot safer, and the revenue is there...fines , court fees, old men who are just looking to have sex are easier and safer to arrest than real criminals who might fight back. I guess since the 40 year Salem crime wave is over , we can begin cutting funding for the Salem PD. No more $70,000 tricked out Mustangs , no more replacing vehicles when they get 2 years old. Good job , guys...but if prostitution is the worst crime we have now, you arent needed anymore.

Neal Feldman August 10, 2007 11:10 pm (Pacific time)

Prohibition has been nothing but a complete failure in every conext and with every target it has ever been tried. Want to get rid of streetwalkers? Stop criminalizing call girls and allow legal brothels. Most of the drug addicting of prostitutes is done by pimps to control them... legalize prostitution and you get rid of the pimps. And only morons get caught in these stings (which border upon if not fall into the categpry of entrapment). Anyone with any sense knows to ask if the alleged prostitute is a cop or in affiliation with any law enforcement agency. Same with the girls when they try and sting them, ask the question of the alleged john. If they answer truthfully leave them be of course (or walk around with a sign saying they are stinging... free speech in a public area). If they lie they render their arrest invalid. They cannot convict. But prostitution laws are semantics at best. Pay Patty Prostitute $100 for sex it is a crime but take Sally surething out for a $100 dinner/dancing and it is legal even though both are effectively putting out for some fiscal consideration. To me there is no real difference. Ban all prohibition type laws... they have no place in a free country.

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