Police arrest 10 in prostitution sting

October 05, 1997


Staff Writer

Police made 10 arrests Friday night and Saturday morning during an undercover operation targeting prostitutes in downtown Hagerstown, according to Hagerstown Police Department reports.

City police officers were assisted by members of the Washington County Narcotics Task Force and the Frederick City Police Tactical Unit in the effort, which wrapped up around 4 a.m. Saturday, police said.

Hagerstown officials have been under fire in recent months for a perceived increase in prostitution downtown.

Police Chief Dale J. Jones said in August that his department has made a greater effort to target prostitution, but he cautioned that resources are limited.


Jones was unavailable for comment Saturday.

Hagerstown City Police officers have been making more prostitution arrests this year. According to department statistics, 28 arrests were made through July of this year, up from 17 during all of 1996 and 11 in 1995.

Police made nine arrests during a prostitution sting in downtown Hagerstown in mid-June that targeted both prostitutes and their customers.

The Hagerstown Police Department regularly conducts sting operations targeting prostitution, said Sgt. Richard Reynolds.

Sometimes the sting operations are aimed at prostitutes, sometimes customers, sometimes both, Reynolds said.

Reynolds said he couldn't go into specifics about this weekend's effort.

"The exact details would compromise any further operations," Reynolds said.

Seven women and two men were charged with engaging in prostitution, according to police.

They were:

* Robin Lynn Staley, 36, of 105 East Ave., Hagerstown;

* Shirley May Clipp, 56, of 7 S. Burhans Blvd., Hagerstown;

* Tina Kay Maffitt, 32, of 899 W. Washington St., Hagerstown;

* Karen Leigh Johnson, 44, of 510 N. Mulberry St., Hagerstown;

* Tina Lynn Desjardins, 30, of 42 Alexander St., Hagerstown;

* Richard Howard Moten, 47, of 136 Broadway Ave., Hagerstown;

* Elaine Whalen, 39, of 11437 Kemps Mills Road, Williamsport;

* Tanya Marcelle Burns, 38, of 49 N. Potomac St., Hagerstown;

* Janelle Januari Trail, 19, of 427 N. Mulberry St., Hagerstown.

Trail was also charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia.

All were released on their own recognizance Saturday.

While police were targeting prostitutes, an alleged customer was also netted in the sting operation.

Darrell Essex, 39, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution and possession of crack cocaine, police said.

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