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Conyers police arrest three in another sting operation

CONYERS — The Conyers Police Department made three more arrests in another prostitution sting operation this week.

Officer Kim Lucas said the operation was held at a local hotel and the purpose was to identify and arrest those involved in the business of soliciting for sex.

As in previous sting operations, CPD investigators set up a page on a social media site commonly used by prostitutes and communicated with several individuals throughout the day and night Wednesday. Three of those men, or “johns,” believing they were coming to the hotel to meet with a prostitute, were arrested when they arrived, Lucas said.

One of the suspects, Newton County resident, was wanted out of another agency and possessed marijuana upon showing up to the scene, authorities reported.

“Social media has become an easy way for individuals who would not, in many cases, involve themselves in prostitution to conduct such activities in and across many jurisdictions,” said Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson. “This is not a problem unique to our city and county. Prostitution commonly breeds greater and more dangerous circumstances and opportunity for serious crime.”

Arrested during Wednesday’s sting were:

• Marquaris Marquavis Clements, 27, 1628 Kirkland Road, Covington, charged with pandering and possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce . He also had an outstanding warrant for probation violation;

• Vincente Juarez Hernandez, 38, 841 Briarcreek Ct., Conyers, charged with pandering; and

• Tovaris Nathaniel Barnett, 25, 1055 Lancashire Circle, #C21, Stone Mountain, charged with pandering.

Wednesday’s sting operation was the fourth conducted by Conyers police since February. During an investigation in March, several prospective johns told the female investigator posing as a prostitute that they were nervous to drive to Conyers because of the attention placed on sex crimes.

“Conyers is hot right now. They’re doing that sting,” one male caller said.

Nineteen individuals have been arrested as a result of the sting operations, including two alleged prostitutes, an alleged pimp, and a woman found with drugs who was in the car with the young son of one of the alleged prostitutes.