January 18, 2017

Monroe prostitution sweep nabs 19

STROUDSBURG - The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office conducted a large scale prostitution sting at a hotel in Stroudsburg on January 13th. The project, spearheaded by Detective Kim Lippincott yielded 19 arrests for crimes relating to human sex trafficking, prostitution and the sale of heroin.

Several law enforcement agencies including the Pennsylvania State Police, Wayne County DA Detectives, Bethlehem Township Police and Colonial Regional Police participated in the investigation. Additionally, Monroe County Children and Youth Services case workers and crisis counselors from Truth for Women were present to offer assistance as needed.

Trafficking of individuals is a first degree felony in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The following individuals, as a result of this operation, were charged with trafficking of individuals, involuntary servitude and promoting prostitution:

  • Derrel Wilson, 32 of Mount Vernon, New York
  • Devereaux Rowlette, 28 of Mount Vernon, New York
  • Samuel Stewart, 24 of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

As a result of these arrests, two women whose identities are being protected, were recovered as victims of human sex trafficking. These victims were cared for and immediately taken to the Truth Home, a non-profit organization that provides a safe living environment and works with women to restore hope after sexual exploitation.  

The following individuals were arrested for promoting prostitution:

  • Samantha Funk, 23 of Portland, PA
  • Jacqueline Mercado, 29 of Providence, Rhode Island

The following individuals were arrested for prostitution:

  • Dahiana Ileana Bencosme, 29 of Allentown, PA
  • Sherin Darwish, 24 of Stroudsburg, PA

Chester Botch, 47 of Long Pond, was arrested for possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Botch delivered a brick of heroin (50 bags) to a female in a hotel room during the prostitution sting.

Wilson, Rowlette and Stewart are held in lieu of $50,000 secured bail. Botch is held in lieu of $25,000 secured bail.

All of the other individuals were released, pending future court appearances.

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