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Three charged Friday in prostitution sting

May 28, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

After two years of posing as the bait in prostitution stings for Hagerstown City Police, Officer Sue Lamb still gets embarrassed about what is said and done.

Reciting the language the male suspects use in court makes her blush, she said.

"I'm a conservative person," she said.

On Friday evening, police teamed up to hold two simultaneous prostitution stings in the city which netted three arrests.

Jon M. Adams, 37, of 4010 High Rock Road, Gibsonville, N.C., was charged with purchasing fake drugs and solicitation for prostitution.

Robert Earl Longnecker Jr., 63, of 12017 Longnecker Lane, Chewsville, and Leo E. Emerick, 36, of 6920 Maryland Ave., Braddock Heights, were charged with solicitation for prostitution.

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During Friday's sting, Lamb, dressed in jean shorts and a T-shirt, casually strolled down Walnut Street while many cars drove past several times. One male in a blue sedan pulled up and invited Lamb to a nearby parking lot "to talk."

As she arranged her meeting, Det. Carroll Braun watched from an unmarked car about a block away and followed as Lamb walked to her meeting site.

Lamb again approached the blue car. After some conversation, the driver spotted a marked police cruiser that happened to stop at a traffic light nearby and pulled away.

"Sometimes, they can tell I'm a cop. They'll say I look too clean," said Lamb, 25. In her career, Lamb estimates she's made 50 to 60 arrests posing as a prostitute.

Friday's three arrests were made during the first three hours of the sting, which wrapped up about 9:15 p.m. when it began to rain heavily.

"It's gotten a lot harder (to find men looking for prostitutes) than in the past. There was a time when we could have 10 or 12 arrests in four hours," Sgt. Elmer Hurd said.

The men come from all walks of life and surrounding states to pay for sex in Hagerstown, Hurd said.

Early-morning stings usually net men on their way to work, Lamb said.

"They'll pull up in their construction vehicles, and they're very direct about what they want," she said. Night-time stings take a little more banter because the men usually have more free time, she said.

Officer Becky Williams posed as a prostitute on Walnut Street earlier Friday evening and found one man interested in sex and drugs.

After asking her for marijuana and sex, the man agreed to meet Williams in an alley, where backup officers were waiting.

As police handcuffed the man, he began to cry, Braun said.

"He said, 'I was just asking for directions to Downsville,'" Braun said.

Solicitation for prostitution is punishable by a $500 fine and/or a 1 year in jail, but few men see the inside of a jail, said Hurd.

"The embarrassment is the real punishment, realizing that people they know will find out," Hurd said.

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