Police arrested seven people Sunday while taking part in a nationwide effort to combat child sex trafficking.
All of the arrests were related to adult prostitution, not children, authorities said. Five people were charged with prostitution, another with petty larceny and a seventh with drug possession.
The Saratoga Springs Police Department worked with state police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as a representative for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Authorities want to find and arrest the alleged prostitutes’ agents, who can be charged with felonies if authorities can prove they controlled multiple women or threatened violence against them, said Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III.
“Our hope is to assist [the alleged prostitutes] by offering services and enable them to discontinue this destructive lifestyle, which can involve drugs, alcohol and violence,” Murphy said in a news release. “Counselors were available during the interviewing and processing for assistance of the women, if desired.”
Charged with misdemeanor prostitution were:
• Marcolena E. Miller, 27, of Loudonville
• Virginia Quesnel-Gillett, 29, of Troy
• Pamela A. Baumgardner, 45, of Jefferson Terrace, Saratoga Springs
• Ginger R. Wood, 23, Central Avenue, Albany
• Krista Cherry, 23, of Glens Falls
Shannon L. Tracey, 29, of Van Buren Street, Ballston Spa, was charged with misdemeanor petty larceny, and Carl S. Young, 35, of Washington Avenue, Albany, was charged with felony criminal possession of cocaine, as well as unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.
Throughout the country, Operation Cross Country resulted in 105 teenagers being taken out of sex trafficking in 76 cities.