Youngstown police nab six in prostitution sting - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown police nab six in prostitution sting

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The Youngstown Police Department is working on keeping prostitution at a minimum after receiving complaints from people living on the city's south side. 

YPD's Vice Unit launched a sting operation Wednesday morning in hopes of eradicating the problem. 

As of Wednesday evening, six known arrests have been made, and Lieutenant Brian Butler said there could be more to come. 

Butler said even though prostitution is perceived to be a nighttime occurrence, it actually can happen at any time of the day since many who engage in prostitution are doing it to support drug habits. 

Butler couldn't speak to these specific cases, but made the general statement that heroin is a daytime drug, so it's not surprising that prostitution occurs in the daylight hours.

9:30 a.m. 

Police first arrested Joseph Jackson, 22, and Margo Smith, 44, around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday under the suspicion that Smith waved Jackson down and got into his car to engage in illegal activity at the corner of Hillman Street and Willis Avenue. 

When police stopped Jackson's car, reports say he told officers he didn't know Smith's name. Additionally, Smith told police she didn't know Jackson and believed she was being set up by him. 

Officers arrested both Jackson and Smith on charges of loitering to engage in solicitation.

11:45 a.m.

Later on that same morning on the same street, police found another woman trying to wave down passing cars, this time her perceived customer was a police officer. 

According to reports, an undercover officer picked up 47-year-old Shirley Ingram at the corner of Hillman Street and West Evergreen Avenue late Wednesday morning. 

When Ingram got in the officer's car, police say she asked him what they were going to do, and grabbed his groin. When the officer told Ingram it was up to her, she said she'd like to get of the main roads, the report states. 

Ingram had the police officer park his car in the parking lot of the Southern Tavern on Glenwood Avenue. 

That's where Ingram offered to perform a sexual act for $20.

At that point, other officers listening in on Ingram's conversation with the undercover cop had enough evidence to make an arrest.

According to reports, Ingram told the officers arresting her "I'm not gonna lie, I was about to do it."

Police found marijuana in Ingram's purse during the arrest. 

Ingram is charged with soliciting and possession of marijuana. 

She's expected to appear in Youngstown Municipal Court Thursday at 10 a.m.

12:30 p.m.

Less than an hour later, the same officer headed back to Hillman Street where he was met by 29-year-old Erica Provitt at the intersection of West Earle Avenue. 

Reports say Provitt walked up to the officer's unmarked car and asked him how much money he had. 

Provitt agreed to perform a sexual act for $20 and got in the car with him, the report says.

The officer then took Provitt to a nearby parking lot where he arrested her for soliciting, possession of drug paraphernalia and on a warrant for failing to appear in court.

According to the report, this wasn't the first time the officer arrested Provitt for prostitution-related activity. 

Court records show Provitt pleaded no contest to a solicitation charge in January 2017. 

4:30 p.m.

Later that afternoon, the Vice Unit spotted another woman trying to catch their attention. This time it was on Marion Street. 

Police say Doris Curry, 24, offered to perform a sexual act on the undercover officer for $30. 

Officers wasted no time arresting Curry, meeting her in the driveway where the undercover officer had parked as soon as they heard Curry offering sexual activity for money, a report said.

Police searched Curry and found a bag of cocaine and a used straw with cocaine residue, according to the arrest report. 

Curry faces charges of soliciting, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. 

Curry is expected to appear in Youngstown Municipal Court Friday, July 14 at 10 a.m.

5:45 p.m.

Around 5:45 p.m., officers returned to Hillman Street where they found Felicia Baggett at the intersection of West Delason Avenue. 

Police say the 47-year-old waved down an undercover officer and got in his car. 

According to reports, Baggett offered a sexual act for $35. 

That's when officers listening to their conversation turned on their cruiser lights and made a traffic stop on the undercover officer's car. 

Police say Baggett pulled a crack pipe out of her bra and handed it over to an officer while she was being arrested. 

Baggett is charged with soliciting and possession of drug paraphernalia and has a court date set for Thursday at 10 a.m. at Youngstown Municipal Court. 

According to court records, Baggett was found guilty of solicitation charges twice in  2006. 

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