NORRISTOWN Six people including a Royersford man were arrested over the weekend as part of an effort to curtail the commercial sex trade in Montgomery County, according to the Montgomery County district attorney.
The six men charged are Scott Elliot Konefsky, 50, of Royersford, who is also charged with illegally concealing a .25-caliber handgun; Sunil Shantilal Jagani, 41, of Malvern, Andrew H. Kim, 46, of Willow Grove, Laltendu Mahapatra, 28, of North Wales, Jason Daniel Schenck, 24, of Philadelphia and Eric D. Zettle, 44, of Norristown.
All six men are charged with patronizing prostitution.
As part of a Feb. 28 sting operation, members of the Upper Merion Police Department and the Montgomery County Detectives Bureau placed an online advertisement offering sexual services. Hundreds of responses were received by phone and text message, according to the district attorneys office, and meeting dates and times were set with the suspected johns.
Each defendant finalized a price for sexual services prior to their arrest, according to a press release issued by the D.A.s office. When the suspects arrived at the agreed upon place and time, they were met by undercover officers posing as prostitutes and taken into custody, according to the D.A.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said this is the first of many such operations where county detectives will participate in with local law enforcement.
Ferman said there are two reasons for this kind of sting operation, the first being the rise in prostitution related offenses in Montgomery County. The second is the knowledge that prostitutes are often the victims of human trafficking.
This is the first of many law enforcement initiatives focused on public safety and quality of life, Ferman said.
On Monday, criminal summons were filed with District Judge William Maruszczak. Each of the defendants will face a preliminary hearing in front of Maruszczak at dates to be determined.
The cases against these individuals will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jordan Friter.