Clearwater prostitution sting nets 25 arrests

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Last Updated: Friday, May 07, 2010

CLEARWATER (Bay News 9) -- In an undercover sting operation, Clearwater police announced the arrests of 24 men and women on prostitution charges.

According to reports, officers posed as both prostitutes and solicitors in the East Gateway area.

Police chief Tony Holloway said male officers targeted alleged prostitutes, while female officers targeted men looking to hire prostitutes.

The whole operation was called "Operation Cheap Trick," which netted the arrests on Monday and Thursday.

Investigators say a 25th arrest was made for drug paraphernalia possession.

Men and women arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution:

Charles Mainier, 53, Tampa
Leonard Waters, 49, Clearwater
Jariel Candelario, 31, Clearwater
Anthony Cotugno, 63, Clearwater
Delfino Panzo, 30, Clearwater
Jose M. Arriaga, 34, Palm Harbor
Gabriel Moreno-Flores, 34, transient
Miguel A. Cruz Vega, 23, Clearwater
Larry Bryant, 57, Clearwater
Victor Ibarra-Rangel, 33, Clearwater
Luis Medina, 43, Clearwater
Jose A. Perez, 34, Clearwater
Loren C. Wilhite, 82, Largo
Thomas Jones, 44, Clearwater
Jaime P. Jimenez, 30, Largo
Armando Corona-Hernandez, 26, Largo
Jessica Rioux, 28, transient
Brittney M. Hoyt-Wier, 23, Largo
Ninoshka Casanova, 28, Clearwater

Women arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution:

Sherrena Esham, 25, Clearwater
Danielle Hansen, 41, Largo
Victoria Murray, 46, Largo
Darla Stephen, 38, Clearwater
Nikki L. Lee, 37

Arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia:

Britney Lightfoot, 30, Clearwater