CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - More than a dozen men are under arrest for allegedly soliciting sex in exchange for money.
The busts are part of an undercover prostitution operation along the Jeff Davis highway corridor in Chesterfield County. The sting unfolded over the weekend.
One man we spoke with owns a business on Jeff Davis - he says it's not uncommon to see prostitutes stroll the streets, even come into his establishment. Patrick's Restaurant has been a staple on Jeff Davis highway for a decade. Over the years the owners says prostitution along this corridor has become a growing concern.
"We have a few come in the restaurant. We recognize them and ask them to leave if they're causing any kind of problem," said Chip Karpus, owner of Patrick's Restaurant.
He says that kind of activity near his establishment is bad for business.
"Almost all of these ladies we see coming in there, that are selling themselves have some kind of a drug habit and they need to sell themselves to support the habit," said Karpus.
To help combat the problem Chesterfield Police conducted an undercover prostitution sting targeting those soliciting for prostitution.
Female police officers posed as prostitutes over a two day period. The decoys were approached by men who allegedly requested sex in exchange for cash. Police say, once that happened the arrests were made. In all 14 men were arrested.
"They just going to run them somewhere else," resident Paul Nowell said.
Nowell has lived near Jeff Davis most of his life.
"If no one is buying the product they're not going to be out there" he said.
Police say they'll continue these undercover operations where prostitution is occurring. Arlene Hairfield works on Jeff Davis and says more needs to be done to eliminate the problem and the problems that come with prostitution.
"It brings other stuff with it - the drugs - the thieve'n, stuff like that," said Arlene Hairfield, employee of Patrick's Restaurant.
Those arrested in the sting range in age from 23 to 74.
The breakdown of the charges follows:
13 - solicitation for prostitution
13 - use of a vehicle for solicitation of prostitution
2 - no operator's license
1- suspended license
1- driving outside restricted license
1- resisting arrest
1- indecent exposure
Those arrested in the sting include the following:
Sergio E. Giron-Diaz, 25, of the 1400 block of Gibeston Court, Richmond.
James B. Pace, 40, of the 2700 block of Buckstone Drive, Powhatan.
Jose A. Mojica, 39, of the 6800 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, Chesterfield.
Virgil G. Turner Jr. 39, of the 17200 block of Lebanon Road in Spring Grove, Va.
William R. Fields, 74, of the 2700 block of East Brigstock Road, Midlothian.
David S. Schmick, 49, of the 7200 block of Winding Creek Lane, Chesterfield.
Mark E. Parrish, 44, of the 13300 block of South Chester Road, Chester.
Gustavo H. Lopez, 23, of the 6500 Walmsley Boulevard, Chesterfield.
John P. Gibson Sr., 42, of the 8900 block of Firethorne Lane, Chesterfield.
Joel W. Forehand Jr., 39, of the 600 block of Reams Road, Petersburg.
Dionicio B. Lozano, 31, of the 3000 block of Congress Road, Chesterfield.
Scott E. Hillen, 50, of the 1500 block of Leckron Masontown Road, Leckron, PA.
Gerald G. Highsmith Jr., 39, of the 6100 block of Cedar Springs Road, Chesterfield.
Michael J. Dennehy, 42, of the 8500 block of Rockaway Road, Chesterfield.
Chesterfield County police say they will continue these undercover operations in areas of the county where prostitution activity is occurring.