06/08/06 — City police plan to continue vice stings

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City police plan to continue vice stings

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on June 8, 2006 1:51 PM

The arrest of eight women last week on prostitution offenses will not be the last time that Goldsboro police use a "sting" operation to eliminate vice on city streets.

Maj. M.D. Hopper, who supervises the patrol division, said police will continue to step up patrols against solicitation for prostitution. He said officers will investigate locations where complaints are generated.

The latest arrests resulted from plainclothes officers posing as customers.

The recent sting was initiated by Capt. Al King's C shift. Hopper said the four shift captains have the leeway to do operations against prostitution, break-ins or other problems in sections in the city. These operations usually result from citizen complaints or anonymous calls to Goldsboro-Wayne County Crime Stoppers.

Hopper said the arrest of eight women was a higher number than usual, but "it shows we have a bit of a problem. This might not stop them from soliciting in the future, but they may not be as flagrant in flagging down vehicles."

The eight had a first appearance in District Court, and all were scheduled for trials later. Only one had posted a secured bond by Monday and been released from custody. Kimberly Dawson, 33, of Carolina Street posted a $1,000 secured bond. Her next court date was scheduled for June 28.

Another had declined to identify herself until the weekend. Patricia Ann Moore, 41, of Oleander Avenue remained in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of a $4,000 secured bond. She also was charged with resisting arrest. Her next court date is July 20. She was sentenced in 1991 to 10 years in prison for possession of stolen goods, but served substantially less time under previous sentencing guidelines.

The others, with their bonds and next court dates, were:

*Glenda Best Mooring, also known as Glenda Armstrong, 43, Decoy Drive, $500, June 28.

*Vanessa Johnson, 42, A Street, $1,000, July 19. She had served 10 to 13 months for cocaine possession.

*Juanita Moody, 37, Seaboard Street, $2,500, also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, June 28. She had served six to eight months for cocaine possession.

*Katherine Long Nichols, 37, East Mulberry Street, $1,000, also charged with resisting arrest, July 11. She had served three to four months for heroin possession.

*Lavonia Constance Phillips, 27, North Pineview Avenue, $500, July 19. She had been sentenced twice for misdemeanor larceny.

*Marsha Williams, 37, Western Wayne Drive, Pikeville, $2,500, also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, July 19. She had been sentenced for numerous drug, weapons and traffic misdemeanors

Hopper said the police do get complaints about prostitution.

"There is no law against walking the streets," he said. "We do get complaints, but we have to have a victim in order to prosecute. That's why we put officers in plainclothes."

Hopper explained that many people have "the mistaken impression that since we arrest them, they go straight to jail. But they have a right to bond, and they might be out on bond before the officer processes his paper work."

Hopper said patrol officers have court dates only every other month, and the defendants can get their cases postponed.

"So it might be six to 12 months before they go to court," he added.

The recent operation might put enough pressure on the women to move to another location or even leave town, Hopper said.

"We also want to encourage the public," Hopper said, "if they see women walking aimlessly down the street to call us, and we'll check on them for their welfare."

He encouraged citizens to call 705-6572 about any crime concerns, including prostitution, drug deals and even speeding.