Date: September 20, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, Pager

Prostitution Sting Nets Several Arrests, Including Motel Owners

The Polk County Sheriff's Office Vice Unit, after an investigation that focused on the Sunshine Motel at 3560 US Hwy 17 North in Winter Haven, arrested several men for solicitation of prostitution, two prostitutes, and the owner of the motel and her 2 children.  This type of sting makes the third this year where motel owners are charged with running prostitution houses and deriving income from the proceeds.

The sting began early this morning when undercover female detectives, posing as prostitutes, arrested several men for various crimes.  Arrested during the prostitution reverses were:

  • Kris Bierly, DOB 9/28/59, charged with Soliciting another to commit prostitution, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Paraphernalia
  • Jose Burgos, DOB 7/1/60, charged with Soliciting another to commit prostitution
  • Robert Gibson, DOB 7/11/61, charged with Soliciting another to commit prostitution
  • Lorenzo Howard, DOB 1/23/68, charged with Soliciting another to commit prostitution, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Paraphernalia
  • Oscar Moradel, DOB 12/7/67, charged with Soliciting another to commit a lewd act
  • Don Pickelsimer, DOB 12/2/55, charged with Soliciting another to commit a lewd act, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Paraphernalia

All of the above have been booked into the Polk County Jail, except Pickelsimer, who had a seizure after his arrest and has been admitted to Bartow Memorial Hospital.

The women who were arrested for prostitution are Frances Casserino, DOB 12/9/60, for Offering to commit a lewd act, and Myra Easley, DOB 7/31/62, for Offering to commit a lewd act, Possession of Cocaine, and Possession of Paraphernalia.

Once the prostitution reverses were completed, the owner of the Sunshine Motel, Subhdraben Patel, DOB 6/1/62, who lives at the motel, was arrested at the BP Gas Station at 2433 Lucerne Park Road, which she also owns, and charged with Owning/Maintaining a Public Disturbance, Deriving Support from Prostitution, and Permitting Prostitution in Building/Keeping House of Ill Fame.  She posted the $2000 bond.  Patel's daughter,  Nimisha, DOB 2/25/84, was arrested and charged with Deriving Support from Prostitution,  and Permitting Prostitution in Building/Keeping House of Ill Fame, and posted the $1500 bond.  Patel's son, Nishankumar, DOB 7/29/85, was arrested for 2 counts of Deriving Support from Prostitution, and one count Permitting Prostitution in Building/Keeping House of Ill Fame, and posted the $2000 bond.

This is the third such sting in 2002, starting when the owners of the Regency Inn in Winter Haven, Sarbjit and Gurnam Hayre, were arrested in March.  The investigation continued and found that the prostitutes who had used the Regency Inn were merely displace and had moved to Lake Shore Villas in Lake Alfred.  In June the manager there, Wiley Pewitt, was arrested.

The Vice Unit will continue to target motel owners for knowingly allowing prostitutes to use their establishments for illegal means, as the trend continues of prostitutes moving from walking the streets to conducting their affairs in motel rooms. 

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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