The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says the undercover prostitution operation along U.S. 19 led to the arrest of seven women, many are career street walkers.
The women arrested were: Carol Jean Howard, 49; Rachel Patricia Graham, 31; Michelle Lee Balser, 36; Tori Nikita Maurency, 24; Amanda Helen Elgers, 26; Shaylyn Nancy New, 31, Erica Sue Gibbs, 36.
The women have all been charged with prostitution. Other charges include possession of methamphetamine, possession of crack cocaine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia and VOP warrants.
Officials said the prostitutes work along the US 19 corridor in Holiday, New Port Richey and Hudson.
“We don’t like to continually arrest the same people for an act that is not pretty when you get down to it,” Captain Chris Beaman with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said, referring to the fact that the women have been arrested on similar crimes before.
Many of the women have been arrested before for the same crime. “We don’t like to continually arrest the same people for an act that is not pretty when you get down to it,” Captain Chris Beaman with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.
Beaman said prostitutes lead dangerous lives, sometimes targeted by serial killers or human traffickers.
“Almost in all the instances, we determine that they’re often addicted to drugs, have drugs on them, and they’re just looking for a means to support their habit,” he said.
In fact, Brandon Jackson was just arrested for his ties in a prostitution/human trafficking ring in nearby Hillsborough County.
Beaman said business owners are afraid of becoming victims of crimes themselves and many were quoted by News Channel 8, saying that they’re glad to see the arrests.