NORTON — Five men were nabbed Friday in a prostitution sting conducted by local police at a hotel in town.
The suspects were arrested at the Extended Stay America Hotel at 280 South Washington St., Lt. Todd Jackson said.
Arrested were: Kristofer Costa, 43, of Taunton; Philip Havener, 33, of Taunton; Brady Michael Landers, 33, of Amesbury; Junior Galvao, 35, of Brockton, and David Bernier, 32, of New Bedford.
The sting was conducted with the cooperation of hotel management, Jackson said.
Detectives placed advertisements on websites that offer escort services and individuals seeking sex. An undercover police officer answered the texts sent by the defendants, arranging meetings for sex for a fee, Jackson said.
All five men were charged with sexual conduct for a fee, solicitation for prostitution and attempt to commit a crime. Landers was also charged with resisting arrest.
They are scheduled to be arraigned in Attleboro District Court Monday.
Soliciting prostitution carries a maximum punishment of 2½ years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Assisting Norton Police were members of the Northern Bristol County Drug Task Force, which is comprised of detectives from Norton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham and Taunton police departments.
In January, three men were arrested in another prostitution sting at the hotel.
The stings are similar to ones at a South Attleboro motel in mid-December and February that led to the arrest of 10 “Johns” who allegedly arranged to meet an undercover police officer posing as a woman offering sex for cash.
The men were arrested at the Attleboro Motor Inn on Route 1, near the Pawtucket line.
The owners and management of that establishment also cooperated with police.
Responding to critics who questioned why police conduct such operations, police say the sex trade is a consumer-driven business and that most of the women involved suffer from drug addiction, mental health or other problems. Also, many prostitutes are involved in human trafficking, they said.