17 arrested for prostitution in Plainfield, NJ
Seventeen people ranging in age from 18 to 71 were arrested for prostitution, authorities said Friday. An undercover operation in which a Plainfield police officer posed as a street prostitute in West End has resulted to the said arrest. Those people are from Somerset, Middlesex, and Union counties.
Arrested during the operation, police said, were Plainfield residents Jalil Lake, 18, of East Front Street; Valentin Soloman-Cuxun, 23, of West Front Street; Rafael S. Andrade, 35 of East Front Street; Juan C. Diaz, 36, of West Seventh Street; Ricardo R. Robinson, 43, of Marlborough Avenue; Joshua Martin, 46, of East Front Street; Thomas D. Johnson, 50, of West Front Street; Zaid S. Bin-Ubaidullah, 52, of East Second Street, and Sherman R. Crandle, 65, of Kensington Avenue.
Also charged, authorities said, were Ronald L. Hopson, 23, of Lester Place, Piscataway; Byron L. Matias, 31, of Linden Avenue, Bound Brook; Roberto C. Fernandez, 34, of Arlington Avenue, South Plainfield; Dilzon Gramajo-Lopez, 36, of North Washington Avenue, Dunellen; Dino Iaione, 40, of Heritage Drive, Green Brook; Raymond Shepard, 40, of Hudson Avenue, North Plainfield; Antonio O. Francisco, 57, of Clearview Place, Bound Brook, and Thomas Ruggieri, 71, of Westfield Road, Scotch Plains.
All were charged with soliciting prostitution and released with summonses, according to police.
The undercover operation is conducted by the Plainfield Police Division's Narcotics Bureau and the New Jersey State Police. This is in response to numerous citizen complaints of overt solicitation of prostitutes. The team worked a 12-hour shift that extended from Thursday afternoon into the wee hours of Friday morning, operating in the 500 and 1500 blocks of West Front Street, according to Plainfield Police Lt. Brian Newman, who helped coordinate the operations.
Newman explained that the female undercover officer was dressed in a simple flannel shirt and jeans, adding that she rarely needed to do or say much other than stand in the area to attract attention.
"It worked out well," Newman said. "People have this perception of Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman", but in general, that's not the type of prostitute you have on the streets here. Often, unfortunately, it's a drug user trying to get her next fix", Newman added.
It was the city's largest undercover operation of its kind since 2003, and it's a good shot for our police.