Schenectady County

Prostitution stings nab 8

Eight people — including five from Schenectady County — have been arrested on charges of participati
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Eight people — including five from Schenectady County — have been arrested on charges of participating in prostitution rings in Colonie, officials said.

Four of the eight people arrested were 18 or 19 years old, Albany County Sheriff’s Inspector John Burke said, citing the ages of the suspects as one of the worst parts of the operation.

“The thing that was shocking was that so many were young,” Burke said. “Most of these operations have older girls.”

One of the rings, Albany County sheriff’s officials said, was run out of a Loudonville home and advertised itself on the Web site Craigslist.

Undercover investigators made the arrests after setting up meetings with the alleged organizers.

The suspected leader, Joseph M. Speranza, was intent on ensuring that prospective clients weren’t undercover officers, officials said. He went as far as to check the phone number used by the undercover officers and inspect their car. Both apparently checked out. Burke said checking the numbers wouldn’t work because they use prepaid phones that aren’t linked to the agency.

Speranza also set up security cameras at his 26B Knauf Lane home, where he would meet the clients. The cameras would also be used for his Web site, officials said.

According to investigators, Speranza took $200 from the visitor and directed the client to a back room, where Jessica Hohler was waiting. Hohler, 18, of 409 Antlers Road, Fort Johnson, allegedly agreed to a sex act.

Speranza faces one count of third-degree promoting prostitution, a felony. Hohler faces a misdemeanor count of prostitution.

Wednesday evening, investigators set their sights on two escort services. They got a room at the Colonie Hotel and phoned the agencies to place orders for women. They phoned Top Notch Escorts, which is also on Craigslist.

According to investigators, Alyssa L. DiBiase, 18, of 54 Union St., Schenectady, arrived and asked for $300. Then Loren A. Gac, 19, of 125 Hill St., Troy, entered and agreed to a sex act, investigators said.

Gac was arrested on a prostitution count and DiBiase on a charge of fourth-degree promoting prostitution. Also arrested was Tarah M. Kloss, 19, of 1002 Palazini Drive, Rotterdam, on one count of fourth-degree promoting prostitution.

Investigators then phoned Your Desire Escorts. They said that brought Michelle L. Barr, 24, of 20 Western Parkway, Schenectady, and Christina A. Condolora, 28, of 623 Michelle Way, Niskayuna.

Barr dropped off Condolora, investigators said, and once inside, Condolora allegedly agreed to a sex act in exchange for $180. Both were arrested, Barr on a promoting prostitution count and Condolora on a prostitution count.

Deputies also arrested Angel Leone, 21, of Schenectady, on Thursday on a prostitution count. Leone allegedly agreed to a sex act in exchange for $200. Leone was not affiliated with the others, Burke said.

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