Mayor Elorza, Providence Police Announce Continued Efforts in “Operation Backpage”

PROVIDENCE, RI- Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Commissioner Steven M. Paré, Commander Thomas F. Oates III and Peg Langhammer; Executive Director of Day One today announced 13 new arrests in the ongoing undercover sting operation, “Operation Backpage.”  This operation was first conducted during the month of March and led to the arrest of 22 men soliciting for sex on Backpage.com.

 

Providence Police Narcotics Bureau Detectives continued this investigation on April 16 and 17, targeting people answering ads on Backpage to pay for the illegal procurement of sex.  Narcotics Detectives placed advertisements on Backpage.com disguised as women soliciting for sex. Undercover policewomen arranged to meet the responding males inside a local hotel, where they were arrested and charged with procurement of sexual conduct for a fee. The defendants were arraigned in 6th District Court earlier today.

 

«Today– once again –we are speaking to anyone out there thinking about trafficking or soliciting for sex on Backpage. Beware. If you’re coming in to Providence to take advantage or abuse women, watch your back because we’re going to get you,” Mayor Elorza said.

 

“Solicitation for sex is the most dehumanizing crime in our society. It victimizes our most vulnerable people and forces them into sex trafficking,” said Commissioner Paré. “The Providence Police Department will continue their vigilant efforts to rid the city of prostitution.”

 

«Sex trafficking is a $32 billion industry worldwide, so it’s critical that we address the demand. Day One will continue to work with the Providence Police in providing a team response to the issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It’s important to realize that many of these women have sex trafficking in their background and are not doing this by choice. They are victims with a long road ahead to get their lives back on track,” said Peg Langhammer.

backpage mugs

 

Defendants:

Xiong Moua, age 24

Shivam Petal, age 24

Phillip Wolfe, age 50

Jonathan Gutierrez, age 34

Joseph Manni, age 44

Robert Brisson, age 56

Peter Jackson, age 45

Matthew Gagliano, age 37

Michael Cimini, age 26

Jeffrey Asci, age 41

Clyde Hilliard, age 23

Michael Phaneuf, age 52

Ibrahim Kamara, age 22

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