Coventry, RI — Two Warwick men were arrested in a joint sex solicitation sting conducted by the Coventry and West Greenwich police departments with the help of Providence Police and federal authorities Dec. 17.
Jacob Dubois, 20, and David Sammartino, 45, of Warwick were among the seven men caught in the sting, dubbed “Operation Front Page” according to a release from the Coventry Police Department.
The sting’s name was chosen, the department wrote, to signify their intent to expose human trafficking to public attention, and combat what the department said is a growing trend of sex for sale in bedroom communities, which most assume is a largely urban concern.
Women officers posing as sex workers placed ads on the noted sex solicitation site backpage.com, then arranged to meet men responding to the ad at one of the hotels on Rte. 95 along the Coventry/West Greenwich line, according to the release.
The men were met by police and arrested, then charged with Procurement of Sexual Conduct for a Fee.
In addition to assistance from the Providence Police Department, the sting officers were also assisted by Homeland Security Investigations under the Rhode Island Human Trafficking Task Force.
Also arrested during the sting were:
Rocco Pelopeda, 38, of East Greenwich
Christopher Petrarca, 24, of Richmond
Stephon Alexander, 44, of Hanover, NH
Neil Sanders, 58, of Providence
Christopher Ricci, 31, of North Kingstown
“We hope that yesterday’s operation sends a strong message that we are monitoring online human trafficking and will act jointly and aggressively to curb illegal solicitation in our communities which originates on these websites,” the release states.
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