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Vice sting at motel lands six arrests
Several held in prostitution investigation


Date published: 2/7/2007

BY KEITH EPPS

They came looking for sex and money. All they got was arrested.

Six people who police said came to Fredericksburg to provide prostitution-related services were charged late last week in a police sting, police said.

According to Capt. Rick Pennock, the city police vice narcotics unit set up the sting after receiving information that prostitutes were advertising their services online.

They reportedly offered to meet clients at motels on the State Route 3 corridor, most of which are in the city.

Detectives went online in response to the information, and six people showed up at the Ramada Inn on Plank Road between 6 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday. All were from out of the Fredericksburg area and one listed an address in Pittsburgh.

Four of the six, including one man, came to provide sexual services, police said. The other two served as facilitators, or "pimps," police said. Pennock said the prostitutes were charging fees ranging from $300 to $500; no police officers actually had sex with the suspects, he said.

Daniel W. Simmons, 41, of Annandale; Laura Jean Lupo, 47, of Alexandria; Ronia Johnson, 21, of Berryville; and Shavon Monique Morris, 22, of Pittsburgh were all charged with prostitution, a misdemeanor. Simmons was also charged with possession of cocaine.

Daniel Burton, 23, of Laurel, Md., and Charlotte E. Upright, 42, of Woodbridge were charged with aiding prostitution and receiving money from the earnings of a prostitute, a felony charge.

Pennock said city detectives periodically go to the Internet investigating crimes. "Society has gone high-tech, and the criminals often follow suit," he said.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404
Email: kepps@freelancestar.com