CALDWELL -- Detectives with the Caldwell Police Street Crimes Unit have arrested eight people after an undercover prostitution sting at local hotel Thursday night. The hotel, which worked with police, is located in the 900 block of Specht Avenue in Caldwell.
Officers says this is an organized prostitution ring that poses as escorts on public websites.
"Nobody really pays $200 for a backrub or a dance," said Caldwell Police Sgt. Joey Hoadley.
Police were tipped off to the prostitution ring after an unrelated drug bust during the past week.
Hoadley says the name of the hotel has not been released because they were very helpful in the police investigation.
All the arrests were made without incident. Metro Task Force detectives and the City-County Narcotics Unit assisted in the arrests.
All of the suspects were booked into the Canyon County Jail.
Here is a list of the suspects and charges:
- Natasha R. Porter, 22, of Nampa, is charged with prostitution, driving without privileges and felony probation violation.
- Steven J. Lovette, 23, Boise, is charged with accepting earnings of a prostitute, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without privileges, open container violation and an outstanding arrest warrant.
- Maria D. Barroso, 27, of Boise, is charged with prostitution. (No photo available)
- Tranice L. Sanders, 20, of Sacramento, Calif., is charged with prostitution.
- Violet M. Jones, 24, of Spokane, Wash., is charged with prostitution and possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Sally A. Collier, 47, of Middleton, is charged with prostitution and carrying a concealed weapon.
- Michelle A. Sizemore, 51, of Boise, is charged with prostitution, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.
- Terro L. Bell, 42, of Pasco, Wash., is charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Police say it was actually a little scary how easy it was to bust this prostitution ring, but believe it's because this is just the tip of the iceberg.
"I think we arrested more people than we expected, and that's what's kind of scary," said Hoadley. "It really opened our eyes to what a big problem this is."
Police are worried, because they say, with prostitution comes other dangerous activity.
"Along with the prostitution comes narcotics, drugs," said Hoadley. "When you're dealing with pimps we're talking about weapons. It's a violent and very dangerous lifestyle."
Three of those arrested in this sting are from out of state. Hoadley says some people come in, use the Treasure Valley for prostitution, and then move on.
"They've talked about using Boise because they don't get a lot of attention," said Hoadley. "They're in and out. They said this is actually a pretty popular area to do this."
But Caldwell Police say they're going to change that and focus a lot more on getting prostitution rings out of the community
"If they are aware that law enforcement is actively working these types of operations, and as well as the Johns out there, making contact with these girls and setting up these dates," said Hoadley. "If there is a possibility that there may be a cop on the other end of that line, that's what we want people to be aware of."
Hoadley said there's a number of unfortunate reasons why someone might turn to prostitution -- pointing to the various backgrounds of the people arrested last night -- but said mostly people are just looking for some quick cash.
Hoadley also said the investigation moved very quickly. It started on Tuesday, and by Thursday they had people in handcuffs.
Police say their investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.