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Residents Hope Sting Forces Crime From Neighborhood

WATERBURY, Conn. -- Police said 33 johns and seven prostitutes were arrested in the Hillside neighborhood Friday night in what police described as one the city's largest sting operations in recent years.

Police said most of the arrests took place on Grove Street and surrounding streets, including Prospect Street, Hillside Avenue and Holmes Street, between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Police Superintendent Neil O'Leary said the sting was a response to ongoing complaints from neighborhood residents.

"With warmer months here, more people are going outside and residents have noticed an increase in prostitution," O'Leary said. "We watched that area for a few days ahead of time and saw that this is indeed the case."
He also noted that prostitution has been on the rise since police raided and shut down 10 massage parlors last year for offering sex for money.

Many people who live along Grove Street said they have seen the women out walking and the men just drive up in cars.

"They don't care, they stop in front of the house, they do drugs here," said Andretta Amaro, a resident in the area.

Amaro said neighbors have repeatedly called police about the prostitutes.

Now that 40 more people have been arrested, neighbors said they hope the problem will start to disappear.

"You see a lot of prostitution on this corner. The cops try, but can't catch them all, but they try," said Amaro.

Friday's sting began with a male undercover officer, posing as a john, arresting the prostitutes, said Lt. Christopher Corbett, police spokesman. After that, two female detectives, also working undercover, were approached by dozens of men offering money for sex.

Police said a total of 31 of them drove up in their cars; two approached on foot. All were arrested.

"We're hoping that the number of johns arrested will keep others from coming here," Corbett said.

Police said the neighborhood around Grove Street has a long-held reputation as one of the busiest prostitution zones in the city. Some of the johns arrested Friday came from as far away as Danbury, Torrington and Ansonia.

"Based on Friday's results, we look to increase our enforcement effort throughout the summer and into the fall," O'Leary said.

O'Leary noted that other prostitution areas in the city, including around South Main and Liberty streets, also will be targeted in the coming months.

The following suspects were charged with patronizing prostitutes from moving vehicles:

Jose Coelho, 32, of 74 Heritage Drive, Waterbury
Nelson Sanchez, 50, 147/C Spring Brook Road, Waterbury
Gregory McCary, 150 Great Plane Road, Danbury
Hajrudin Bukalo, 55, 30 Framingham Drive, apt. 2G, Waterbury
Martin Hernandez, 30, of 151 Frost Road, Waterbury
Charles Blackwell, 62, of 19 Ohio Ave., Waterbury
Olgergi Rusi, 25, if 114 National Ave., apt. 3, Waterbury
Richard Price, 29, 229 Alder St., Waterbury
David Gonzalez, 30, of 16 Laurel St., Waterbury
William Spears, 49, 141 Division St., Waterbury
Hugo Hernandez, 24, of 106 Walnut St., Waterbury
Rosendo Altamirano, 36, of 163 Mark Lane, Waterbury
Jeff Nardi, 32, of 83 Ridgewood Road, Southington
Juan Veliz, 19, of 131 Birch St., Waterbury
Carlos Silva, 29, of 71 Cleone Drive, Waterbury
Vincent Hunter, 28, of 12 Sarsfield St., first floor, Waterbury
Anthony Mancini, 36, of 506 Chestnut Hill Ave., Waterbury
Claudio Riofrio, 48, of 396 Waterville St., apt. 4, Waterbury
Christopher Rasicot, 39, of 135 Edward Ave., Watertown
Robert Madigan, 61, of 135 Prospect St., apt. 221, Waterbury
Kelvin Lopez, 18, of 182 Chipper Road, Waterbury
Daniel Cardenas, 19, of 285 Bucks Hill Road, Waterbury
Grantley Brathwaite, 54, of 57 Wood St., apt. B, Waterbury
Michael Maddox, 46, of 30 George St., Torrington
Adam Topolski, 29, of 70 Fox Run Road, Southbury
Vincent Watts, 42, of 26 Lone Oak Drive, Naugatuck
Michael Mareaurele, 38, of 35 Bamford Ave., Waterbury
Scott Tamburrino, 31, of 7 Smith St., Ansonia
Fernando Oliveira, 46, of 408 Sylvan Ave., Waterbury
Carlos Sibri, 23, of 19 Pleasant St., Waterbury
Aaron Troche, 22, of 222 Bradley Ave., Waterbury
The following suspects were charged with patronizing prostitutes: Eduardo Vargas, 23, of 45 Savings St., apt. 3K
Efrain Perez, 22, of 187 East Main St.
The following suspects were charged with prostitution: Tammy Callahan, 35, of 837 Maple Hill Road, Waterbury
Tamara Barriga, 32, of 117 Cooke St., second floor, Waterbury
Carol Kovacs, 36, of 331 West Grove St., Waterbury
Lauren Keegan, 21, of 685 South Main St., Waterbury
Theresa Hadley, 31, of 174 Willow St., Waterbury
Melissa Moore, 26, of 46 Central Ave., Waterbury
Janice Brest, 43, of 1576 Highland Ave., Waterbury.
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