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Fargo prostitution sting leads to four arrests

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FARGO - Police arrested four women during a prostitution sting Thursday at a Fargo motel.

To set up the sting, detectives called phone numbers listed in the escort advertisements on the website www.fargo.backpage.com, Capt. Pat Claus said.

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Police allege that all four women who met with the undercover officer agreed to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money.

Those arrested on suspicion of prostitution were:

* Samantha L. Longie, 20, of Moorhead.

* Lisa C. Hans, 36, of Moorhead.

* Amy Jo Anderson, 34, of West Fargo. Anderson also was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

* Rebecca L. Genia, 29, no permanent address. Genia also was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession and driving under suspension.

The sting was conducted from 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Motel 6, 1202 36th St. S.

Claus said police have received recurring reports of prostitutes operating at numerous hotels in Fargo, but not at Motel 6. However, the motel has decided to allow stings to take place there in an effort to deter prostitution and other crimes, he said.

In February, Fargo police arrested three men in a prostitution sting that targeted customers, sometimes referred to as johns. Police have faced criticism for devoting resources to targeting prostitution, but they continue to see it linked to other crimes such as robbery, extortion and felonious restraint, Claus said.

"The big underlying reason is it leads to other more serious crime, but it also impacts quality of life," he said, adding, "We do believe we have an obligation to the public to conduct stings to deter this behavior."

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