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13 caught in prostitution sting

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Clayton County Police arrested 13 men on charges of soliciting a prostitute, during a sting operation.

Female officers went undercover Thursday night, pretending to be prostitutes strolling up and down North Main Street, in Jonesboro, as other officers waited nearby in unmarked cars.

On being solicited by a passerby, the undercover officers gave a sign and the other officers swooped in and made the arrests.

The sting operation was the department's fourth on that stretch of road, where North Main Street meets Tara Boulevard, a corridor dominated by used car lots and extended-stay motels, and known for drug deals and prostitution.

"We continue to get more complaints from businesses in that area," said Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner. "As long as people are complaining about illegal activity in that area, we will be there."

Turner said prostitution and solicitation dramatically drops after each sting, but slowly picks up again.

The sting was the department's first of 2008, but the chief promised more of the operations as the warmer weather starts. Turner warned those who may be considering soliciting a prostitute to reconsider.

"We're going to be in the area," he said. "We're going to continue to be vigilant."

According to the police, those arrested during the Thursday night sting were:

· Jorge Soria Hernandez, 32, of Jonesboro.

· Bobby Meadows, Jr., 55, of Jonesboro.

· Timothy Sims, 47, of Riverdale.

· Alberto S. Pelaez, 40, of Hampton.

· Cesar Antonio Montante-Quiroc, 22, of Morrow.

· Matthew Wornsstaff, 35, of Hampton.

· Sergio Preciado, 34, of Forest Park.

· Alvin Butler, Jr., 27, of Atlanta.

· Kevin Vanhannegeyn, 42, of Jonesboro.

· Jaime Vazquez-Gonzalez, 26, of Jonesboro.

· Jermail Levar Norwood, 29, of Jonesboro.

· Joseph Duggins, 55, of Jonesboro.

· Jimario Tucker, 28, of Jonesboro.