8 arrested in Pittsburgh prostitution crackdown
Undercover detectives arrested at least eight people in a crackdown on prostitution in Pittsburgh this week, according to criminal complaints filed in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
Part of the operation involved the website Escort Babylon, which instructs potential clients to call a number to arrange for an appointment for sexual acts.
Police say they called and spoke with Samuel Snyder, 20, of Mount Oliver. They say an undercover detective talked to Snyder on the phone and arranged for sex and what police called “party favors” — crystal methamphetamine.
According to arrest papers, the officer exchanged numerous text messages with Snyder, who told the officer his phone’s battery was low and he would call from a different number.
Police then received a call from Jules Williams, 39, of Wilkinsburg, who said she was at the hotel where they agreed to meet.
Williams and Snyder knocked on the door of the hotel room and were then taken into custody, according to criminal complaints filed against them.
Police noticed Kevin Fowler Jr., 25, of Wilkinsburg also in the hallway. Williams told police Fowler was her boyfriend and had arranged for the taxi that brought them to the hotel, according to a criminal complaint.
Police confirmed that Snyder had the phone that used the number listed in the advertisement and that Williams’ phone was used in the second call with police. Fowler allegedly also told police about his role in the evening.
Snyder was charged with prostitution, possession of methamphetamine, conspiracy and criminal use of a cellphone, according to a criminal complaint.
Williams was charged with prostitution, possessing instruments of crime (a cellphone) and criminal conspiracy.
Fowler was charged with promoting prostitution, conspiracy and prohibited acts for having a baggie containing marijuana.
The number used to arrange the meeting was not in service Friday.
Public defenders listed for Snyder, Williams and Fowler didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.
Five other people were charged by Pittsburgh police in a detail Wednesday in the area of Middle and Foreland streets on the North Side, according to police.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .