NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - An undercover operation by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Nacogdoches Police Department's Street Crimes Unit and Patrol Division resulted in six prostitution-related arrests late Wednesday night.
"Officers with the Street Crimes Unit, Criminal Investigation Division and Patrol Division conducted an undercover operation that netted six arrests for prostitution, promoting prostitution and other various narcotics related offenses and outstanding warrants," a press release stated. "The investigation is ongoing and other arrests are still possible. "
Those arrested and their charges/bail amounts include:
- Joshua Allan Godsey, 27, of Nacogdoches, Class B misdemeanor promotion of prostitution, $2,500.
- River Straten Grounds, 24, of Mt. Enterprise, Class B misdemeanor prostitution, no bail yet.
- John Lewis, 48, of Lufkin, Class B misdemeanor promote prostitution, $2,500.
- Sylvia Nichole Palafox, 27, of Nacogdoches, state-jail felony revocation of probation, Class A misdemeanor failure to identity, and Class B misdemeanor prostitution, $4,000..
- Chasidy Rangel, 39, of Diboll, state-jail felony possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram, and Class B misdemeanor prostitution, $9,500.
- Jessica Irene Wood, 28, of Little Rock, Arkansas, state-jail felony possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram and Class B misdemeanor prostitution, $9,500.
The sting was conducted at a Nacogdoches hotel, which is located at 4809 NW Stallings.
"We take prostitution and human trafficking very seriously, and those crimes lead to other crimes against people" said Lt. Dan Taravella, a a spokesman for the Nacogdoches Police Department. "Pimps are often then ones landing tricks for prostitutes, but not always."
The sting at the hotel led to a disturbing discovery.
"Two of the arrests last night were for people putting their spouses and girlfriends out to do this work with their knowledge," Taravella said.
Taravella said while the women were inside a hotel room, presumably to have sex for money, their partners waited in their vehicles in the parking lot.
"Our complaints are city wide," Taravella said. "Where this occurred is no reflection on that particular business or that particular area, but that just happened to be where we set up our operation," Taravella said.
This sort of thing is becoming more common in America's increasingly digital society, Taravella said.
According to the arrest affidavit for Godsey, he drove a prostitute to the hotel with the understanding that he would be getting a portion of the proceeds. The affidavit for Lewis says something similar; he drove a prostitute to the business, where the individual exchanged money for sex with the understanding that he would get paid for his assistance.
Grounds allegedly made contact with undercover NPD officers and offered to make a payment for sexual acts.
Undercover Nacogdoches PD officers contacted Palafox and Rangel in response to an online ad for services, the affidavit stated. Both allegedly responded to the dialogues by showing up at the business and trying to exchange with undercover officers for sex.
After she was arrested, Paladox allegedly gave the officers a fake name. Later, officers found that she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. When Rangel was searched, officers found her possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine.
During the investigation, Wood was found to have arranged to provide sexual acts for a fee, the affidavit stated. Wood was allegedly found in possession of less than one gram of meth, which was discovered in her purse.
At this time, no bail amounts have been set for any of the six people arrested. The mug shot for Lewis was not available.