08/22/08 — Internet prostitution ring broken in Lenoir County

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Internet prostitution ring broken in Lenoir County

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 22, 2008 1:37 PM

A Goldsboro woman is one of seven across the eastern part of the state charged by Lenoir County authorities with being part of a prostitution ring working over the Internet.

The women and two men were charged following an investigation by the Lenoir County Sheriff's Department.

Maj. Chris Hill said he was notified last fall by an anonymous source that several women were using the Craigslist Web site to solicit sex.

Seven women were charged in the sting from offenses dating from Nov. 8, 2007 to April 17 of this year.

Among them was Serina Marie Sons, 27, of N. Carolina Street and Sharon Lynn Roberts, 43, of E. Railroad Street, LaGrange. Other women were from Kinston, Graham, Hubert and Wilmington.

Each was charged with one count of soliciting for prostitution. Wendy Sau Militello, 32, of Wilmington, also was charged with possession of cocaine.

The two men -- Thomas Barnett Deramus, 49, of Durham, and Kenneth Allen Melton of Greensboro -- also were arrested. Deramus was charged with providing transportation for prostitution and Melton was charged with soliciting prostitution.

All nine were released after posting bond, Hill said. The arrests were made over the past seven months.

The Web site www.craigslist.org offers services such as local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, items for sale and personal ads.

Several women used the Craigslist's personal ad feature to post pictures of themselves and a list of services.

Hill said that undercover narcotics officers went to the Craigslist Web site and set up meetings with the local women that were offering erotic services for a price. The undercover officer then set up a meeting with the women.

Hill said law enforcement will continue to monitor Craigslist and additional Internet Web sites, which women are using to market prostitution.