Seven men have been arrested after a series of online “sting” operations sought to stop prostitution in Alton.
Alton police officers posed as escorts on a website, according to a police department release. The suspects then allegedly contacted the officers via telephone and offered to pay for sexual acts. When the suspects arrived at the prearranged location, they were arrested and charged with solicitation of a sex act, a class A misdemeanor charge.
• Michael D. Duncan, 65, of Bethalto;
• Steven D. Howerton, 54, of Glen Carbon;
• Dean E. Crosby, 29, of Alton;
• Achutendra S. Kasireddy, 23, of Edwardsville;
• Munir S. Gomaa, 24, of St. Louis;
• Nicholas D. Baker, 23, of Alton;
• Brian P. Rose, 40, of Collinsville.
Police said that many have now turned to the internet to carry on crimes of prostitution rather than the better-known method of flagging down consumers in the streets. Chief Jake Simmons said his officers are actively pursuing both street prostitutes and the online variety.
Subsequent to this article, the charge against Gomaa was dismissed.