12 Men Busted In Prostitution Sting

Two state employees are among a dozen people arrested in a police sting, part of an effort to halt prostitution citywide.

The NBC 10 Investigators went along for a ride with Philadelphia Police Lt. Charles Green and his special vice team in Juniata.
Their target is men cruising for prostitutes during daylight hours.

"We've had a lot of complaints about prostitution activity along the avenue," Green said.
Neighbors said prostitutes have taken over neighborhood recreation areas.

"It's out of control," said Brian Gaeta. "The hookers would go underneath the trees there to perform oral sex and sex acts and leave their drug paraphernalia there."

NBC10 took a look at the park and found a syringe with the needle still intact.

Gaeta said he and a few friends cut down some tree branches to decrease places where prostitutes could hide.

Undercover female police officers took a stroll along the streets to help get rid of potential customers.

One man thought he was talking to a prostitute who was by herself. But another police officer was posing as a prostitute and a male officer was posing as a homeless man a few feet away.

The other officers act as backup and witnesses.

Once the signal is given, four more officers come in to help with the arrest.

With each arrest come excuses.

"She was asking me for a ride," said one man who was under arrest.

Getting seven males in less than two hours, it's obvious that there is a serious problem out there," Green said.

Police arrested one man who was a state parole officer. The state employee was supposed to be working.

Police arrested nearly a dozen men in that area on suspicion of patronizing prostitution.

"It's not a victimless crime," Green said. "It affects not only the people involved in it, but the people who have to live around it as well."

Police said that in some neighborhoods, men are having sex with prostitutes in front of private homes, sometimes while children are on their way to school.

The undercover operations will continue throughout the city.

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