NORTHWOOD (AP) --As a result of an undercover operation, 12 people were charged Tuesday night with a total of 17 crimes including soliciting prostitution, drug abuse, possession of drug abuse instruments, and complicity to soliciting prostitution at a hotel in Northwood.
"Most charges were for soliciting prostitution which are a misdemeanor of the third degree and can carry a maximum fine of $500 and, or 60 days in jail," Northwood Police Capt. Jeff Zahradnik said in a news release. "A total of $1,028 was recovered in this operation along with crack cocaine, prescription medication, and marijuana."
Undercover officers arrested men and women for soliciting sexual acts. Northwood Police Department, the Wood County Sheriff's Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, and the FBI Human Trafficking Task Force teamed up for the undercover operation.
Charged were Khaled Elabyad of Sylvania, for soliciting prostitution, a third-degree misdemeanor; Tania Parker of Toledo, soliciting prostitution; Tai-Anne Parker of Toledo, complicity to soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor, and drug abuse, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and Phil Farina of Toledo, Christopher Robosky of Findlay, Marcus Williams of Fremont, Charles Yager of Maumee, and Jamie Slaughter of Toledo who were charged with soliciting prostitution.
Tiffany Dukett, Duane Stroud and Amanda Bigelow, all of Toledo were charged with fourth-degree drug abuse and soliciting prostitution, and Sandra Slaughter of Toledo was charged with fifth-degree felony drug abuse and a drug paraphernalia third-degree misdemeanor.
Information from a similar arrest last month helped lead to the bust Tuesday night. Six solicitation prostitution arrests were made at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg Township on Feb. 26.
Arrested were Toledo residents Nagib Mahmud, 22, Dominque Burkes, 26, and Renee Champion, 27; Jorge Ramos-Crus, 20, of Norwalk; James Nickles, 42, of Elmore, and Hiral Kholhal, 26, of Perrysburg, who were charged with solicitation prostitution.
The Wood County Sheriff's Office, Perrysburg Township Police, Northwood Police, the Ohio Attorney General's Office, and the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office worked together arranging people to go to the French Quarter where contact was made and then arrests took place after sex acts were offered for money.
Wood County Sheriff's Lt. Jamie Webb said the focus was not on girls on the streets but on postings on social media sites.
Every four to six weeks, Lieutenant Webb said, law enforcement officials run a vice operation.
Some people Feb. 26 texted them saying "we know you are a cop, nice try."
He said such undercover operations began after complaints of prostitution at a North Baltimore truck stop. The department was trained on stopping prostitution and discovered that locally there are many online escorts.
In 2011, law-enforcement officials started running similar operations to the Feb. 26 solicitation prostitution investigation.
Contact Matt Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-356-8786 or on twitter at @mthompson25.