Police have been locking up prostitutes and pimps with regularity over the past few months along Franklin and Delk roads in Marietta, but this is the first recent arrest of this nature in Acworth.
An undercover operation involving the FBI, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Marietta/Cobb/Smyrna Organized Crime Unit tracked the online solicitations of five alleged prostitutes and arrested them at the motel at 5035 Cowan Road and I-75.
Michelle Parkhill of Winder was arrested at about 6 p.m. Nov. 20 and charged with prostitution. According to a warrant, she took $100 from an undercover officer in exchange for sex. She is being held on a $1,000 bond at the Cobb County jail.
About an hour later, April Leann Weaver of Kennesaw was arrested at the Budget Inn and charged with prostitution and possession of methamphetamine after reportedly accepting $250 from an undercover officer to perform a sex act. According to the warrant, police also found a small amount of a crystal-like substance suspected to be meth in an ashtray in Weaver’s red Ford Mustang. Police sent the substance to the crime lab for testing and storage. Weaver was held at the county jail on a $5,000 bond.
At around 8 p.m., Anne Natalie Curtis of Duluth and Talana Dee Ortiz of Stone Mountain were also arrested at the motel and charged with prostitution. The women allegedly agreed to charge an undercover police officer $320 for them both to meet the officer at the hotel and perform sex acts. Ortiz and Curtis were each held on $1,000 bonds at the county jail.
Within the hour, police arrested another woman, Avie Linda Darracott of Alpharetta, who was charged with prostitution after authorities say she consented to perform a sex act for $200 with an undercover agent at the same motel.
This is the first prostitution-related incident to happen in Acworth, said Mayor Tommy Allegood. He was shocked that such an event happened within the city limits, and was grateful for the collaboration of the number of police agencies that made the arrests possible.
Allegood said that prostitution was not welcome in Acworth, and he is happy that the incident was “stamped out” last week.
“That was a one-time and last-time prostitution event,” he said.
County Comm-issioner Helen Goreham, whose district includes Acworth, said that prostitution wasn’t a problem for the county overall. Last week’s incident was the first that she had heard of any prostitution in the Acworth area, she said.
Not rare for the county
While prostitution may be hard to find in Acworth, it is not a rarity in the county.
Cobb police have been cracking down on prostitution in recent months, and this incident is just one in a series of prostit-ution-related arrests in the county since summer.
Police arrested five women on prostitution charges in early October, after 17 people were arrested on prosti-tution-related charges in early September, and seven women in early August.
Supporters of the Franklin Road redevelopment bond used newspaper reports on the arrests in their campaign to pass the $68 million bond issuance, citing an increase in crime in the area.
Other incidents of prostitution
On Nov. 26, police arrested Rachael Gilbert for allegedly accepting $400 from an undercover police officer to perform a sex act. According to the warrant, police found an advertisement for sex in exchange for money on backpage.com, and contacted Gilbert through the ad. The undercover officer met Gilbert at 455 Franklin Road, #141, around 9 p.m., where she allegedly made the attempt to accept the $400 for a sex act, but decided to leave. She is being held on a $1,000 bond at the Cobb County jail.
Amanda Riddle of Smyrna was also arrested and charged with giving the police false information about her identity. Riddle had an active warrant for her arrest out of Gwinnett County at the time of her arrest last week, and allegedly gave a Marietta/Cobb/Smyrna narcotics officer a false name and date of birth when asked by the officer, who was investigating a prostitution case. Riddle was held at the Cobb jail on a $1,000 bond.