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Seven arrests made in prostitution sting

Published: Fri, January 10, 2014 @ 6:54 p.m.

Officers arrested seven people accused of prostitution and drug use in Austintown

Staff report


Six women and one man were arrested on Wednesday after police say they were involved with prostitution and drugs.

The Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, Youngstown’s FBI, Austintown Police Department and the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department arrested the people on the state Route 46 and Interstate 80 corridor.

According to a news release, Heather Upole, 29, is charged with prostitution and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Christopher Sturgeon, 23, is charged with promoting prostitution, drug-abuse (heroin), possession of drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia.

Cristin Urso, 32, is charged with prostitution along with Tiye Brightwell-Knox, 27, and LaCarra Peterson, who does not have a listed age.

Christina Gradillas, 34, is charged with prostitution, drug abuse (crack cocaine), possession of drug paraphernalia and drug abuse instruments and criminal trespassing.

Maria Polas, 25, is charged with prostitution, drug abuse (heroin), drug abuse (suboxone), possession of drug paraphernalia and drug abuse instruments.

All of the suspects are from the Youngstown or Warren area, according to police, who did not provide addresses. They are scheduled for arraignment on Monday in Austintown court.


1AtownAugie(891 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

A few months ago, a "house" on Mahoning was busted, and now this. Seems the "A" in Awesometown is takin' on a whole 'nother meaning....

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2JoeFromHubbard(1803 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Hookers in need of another fix.

This story is no reflection on Austintown, it happens everywhere.

The A-town gang just happened to get caught doing something stupid.

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3tepcrick(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I am just happy that Austintown is doing something about this growing issue ... thanks to all involved in the sting!

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4Enarkum(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Sure would be nice for them to do a sting operation for the disgusting men that call these women to the hotels too. Doesn't help if you're only catching the women on drugs that feel like they don't haven't another choice to get money for their drug abuse. It'd be nice to see the police department set up a raid for all the SOBER "men" that get these hotel rooms and wait on these women to show up. If ones in trouble the other participants should be too.

It doesn't matter anyway. These girls are still going to do it. They're going to get out of jail at some point and go right back to the drugs that lead right back to the prostitution. Same goes for the many others that didn't get caught Wednesday.

It's a vicious cycle that in the end of each of these "crimes solved" there's no reward. Drug users are drug users. They can sit in jail the few days until court, get a public defender and go right back to the streets. What else do they know? These young girls that are prostituting themselves aren't doing it just to do it obviously. There needs to be more focus towards the REAL ISSUES here. In my opinion, nothing really was accomplished with these arrests.

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5DontBanThisDrone(1046 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Legalize prostitution, and this all goes away; it's completely a non-issue, and you never read about this again.


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6LtMacGowan(714 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Its the world oldest profession and this sting sure isn't going to stop it. its not even going to put a dent in it. Having prostitution illegal is lunacy and trying to legislate morality. you are never going to stop it. so why turn these women into criminals.

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7TaskForce(2 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Report your crime tips now about drug trafficking, violent crime, criminal street gangs, child prostitution, and fugitives at ValleyTaskForce.com.

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