Saturday, May 15, 2010

TOP STORY > >Sheriff says prostitution ring busted in Greystone

Leader staff writer

Two women and one man were arrested Wednesday in Greystone, Cabot’s upscale golf course subdivision, for allegedly being involved in the practice of what is euphemistically called the world’s oldest profession.

Two more arrests are likely, said Lonoke County Sheriff Jim Roberson. The man believed to be in charge of the alleged house of prostitution was in Dallas with the third female resident of the home when the arrests were made.

A.E.Samontry, 33, of 105 Ridgecrest Square, was charged with prostitution and promoting prostitution. Pornpiemon Phouangmany, 40, of the same address, was charged with prostitution. Both women are from Laos.

Jerry Richard, 46, of North Little Rock, was charged with patronizing a prostitute.

All charges are misdemeanors and the cases will be heard in Cabot District Court on June 17.

The arrests were made at about 7:20 p.m., following a two-day investigation that began when neighbors complained to the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department about the traffic at the home.

Roberson said in-vestigators waited outside the home for two days and interviewed the “Johns” as they emerged, but no detective went inside to talk to the women during the investigation or solicited the services they allegedly offered for sale.
Lt. Jim Kulesa, spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said investigators seized $3,000 in cash from the home, $500 in a safety deposit box, computers and a “little black book” with names of clients.

Their business, ac-cording to a sign posted on Hwy. 5 and advertised on an Internet site was massage, Kulesa said, but the women not only denied that they were prostitutes, they also denied that they gave massages in their home.

The men who came and went from their home were friends, Kulesa said they told investigators.

The sheriff said several neighbors were standing outside when the three were taken into custody.

“The neighbors were very happy we made the arrest, very happy,” Roberson said.

Cabot police assisted in serving the arrest warrant but were not part of the investigation. Although city police usually enforce laws and conduct investigations inside city limits, the sheriff’s department has jurisdiction all over the county.

Cabot Mayor Eddie Joe Williams, who lives in Greystone, said after the arrests that Cabot still has only a fraction of the crime that larger cities like Little Rock have.

Williams said the information he has been given makes him believe the women are prostitutes and that the nice neighborhood in which they lived and worked was chosen because no one would expect to find a business of that kind there.

“It’s a lone incident in a very nice neighborhood and that’s their cover,” the mayor said.