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Peddling for prostitution goes online

Posted June 10, 2008
Updated June 11, 2008

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— The fight against the world's oldest profession has gone online.

A posting on Craigslist, a popular classifieds Web site, led to a prostitution sting at the Red Roof Inn on Walnut Street in Cary.

Craigslist advertisements normally offer everything from cars and boats to baby clothes, but one promised an "Exclusive Companion for All Your Dreams and Desires" in Raleigh and Cary.

The investigation into that ad started with a tip from staffers at the Red Roof Inn. Management reported suspicious activity after seeing several men coming and going from one rented room.

"We learned that there was an individual working out of the motel that was possibly doing prostitution-type activity," Capt. Michael Williams, with the Cary police, said.

Cary detectives searched Craigslist and found the local ad. They called the listed number and arranged to meet the woman at the Red Roof Inn.

"We were able to discover that, in fact, she was involved in those types of activities, which led to her arrest," Williams said.

Police charged Yvette Russell, 20, with prostitution.

Cases such as this one are becoming more common, police said. The charges against Russell marked Cary's 10th arrest for prostitution in the past 10 months.

Although posting an ad online is more discrete than standing on a street corner, investigators said those offenders are just as likely to get caught.

"I think it makes them pretty easy, because you just visit the Web sites," Williams said. "You can identify them, make contact with them and go from there."

Red Roof would repeat its full cooperation with police during any future prostitution busts, its security director, Vince Vittatoe, said in a statement.

"The safety and security department encourages general managers to work with law enforcement officials and to be proactive when dealing with illicit activities," Vittatoe said, adding that Red Roof offers free rooms to investigators.

Craigslist posts warnings and disclosures that users agree to before entering its personals section. Users must be 18 years or older and and agree to flag any ads that might involve illegal activity.

58 Comments

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  • butch75 Jun 16, 5:02 p.m.

    She/He/It would have to pay me ALOT of money to be in the same room !!!

  • ifcdirector Jun 11, 6:26 p.m.

    Cue The Untouchables theme song. Yet again the Cary Police make the streets safer...........well for someone I guess.... This will rank up there with Operation Collection Plate in making Cary safe for democracy and the American Way.

  • NCSU 1982 Jun 11, 4:21 p.m.

    It's Not just the Red Roof Inn or motel 6 or just "low end" hotels. It takes place in almost every hotel in Raleigh and RTP. Marriott,Embassy Suites,etc. Least thats what I have heard.

  • foetine Jun 11, 3:09 p.m.

    what's the point of taking a woman to Nevada to be your hooker? They already have legal hookers in that state. Talk about taking coals to Newcastle

  • gto77 Jun 11, 2:20 p.m.

    no difference you pay for sex if married.....look at the wedding ring,and honeymoon???????or prostitute.....same thing".

    ~Preach~ How many people go out and find a broke person and marry them..."NO MONEY,NO HONEY"

  • Justin T. Jun 11, 2:12 p.m.

    For those of you who want to see hooking legalized I recommend you take action:

    Organize a bicycle rally and call it "peddling for prostitutes".

  • rnsjr Jun 11, 1:33 p.m.

    Can't put the pictures of her customers in the papers. Cause they might not get re-elected.

  • ncwebguy Jun 11, 1:22 p.m.

    This is funny... there probably occasional high end "working" women at the bar in the Umstead, Lucky 32 (near the La Quinta, etc.), and other areas business travelers stay in. Or they already have connections and are taken care of by people with more money than sense. To say nothing of what happens across the street from Amtrack in downtown Cary.

    The Red Roof Inn (and probably the Motel 6 near South Hills Mall) probably attract a different, cheaper, desperate clientelle. Cary police only did anything *after* hotel staff alerted them. Did hotel staff alert police because they didn't get their cut? Because the woman didn't try to hide what she was doing? Who knows.

    I'm torn between "business among consenting adults" and "community standards". Regulation would keep drugs away, and taxes could pay for additional police officer and/or raises. The Baptists have a HQ by Cary Town Center and they would never allow it. Even though JC served/saved prositutes, not condemed them.

  • 050462 Jun 11, 1:06 p.m.

    no difference you pay for sex if married.....look at the wedding ring,and honeymoon???????or prostitute.....same thing.

  • Timbo Jun 11, 12:43 p.m.

    "These comments are back-handed compliments about the town I live in, and they're greatly appreciated. "

    Um, maybe you need to look up "backhanded compliments" and compare it to "factual statements". And the comment was about the Cary Police, not your little town.

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