BEYOND BERGEN: A 55-year-old Lyndhurst woman was snared in a prostitution sting that produced several arrests after detectives in Morris County set up “dates” with escorts through Backpage.com ads over the course of two days.
It began with the mid-January discovery of a 27-year-old Columbus, OH woman wanted on a prostitution warrant out of Guttenberg who Chester Borough police said was sleeping in a car parked behind a local business.
Detective Shaun Horst investigated and found that the woman, identified as Raquel Castillo, had posted an escort ad on Backpage.com.
So he called posing as a customer, got a price and had Castillo taken into custody when she showed up for the appointment.
While being questioned, Castillo identified an alleged john she said she’d been with that night — 58-year-old Michael McSherry of Jenks, OK, Horst said.
Posing as a female escort, Horst texted McSherry and arranged a meeting. A female police officer played the role, discussed money and arrested McSherry — who promptly gave up his area address book, the detective said..
Police Chief David J. Jara and Horst began running the numbers and found that all of the escorts had Backpage ads.
The resulting sting led to six arrests:
Vivian Albanese of Lyndhurst was charged with prostitution;
Jamie Lynn Brown, 35, of Pine Hill was charged with prostitution;
Lara C Chavarria, 31, of Newark was charged with prostitution; a passenger, 24-year-old Ashley N Perdomo of Newark was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia and with being under the influence of durgs;
Courtney A Robinson, 23, of North Plainfield was charged with prostitution; her driver, 23-year-old Kian Bond of Plainfield was charged with driving while suspended and had an outstanding warrant out of Plainfield;
All were released on court summonses.
Horst said the women also “were given information on social services and help groups throughout the state.”
None said they were involved in human trafficking or were being held against their will or forced to turn tricks, he added.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy CHESTER PD