Sting at S. Portland hotel yields 4 arrests

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Four men were arrested Thursday, Oct. 18 at a South Portland hotel for allegedly engaging in prostitution.

Local law enforcement agencies and the Law Enforcement Greater Portland Coalition Against Sex Trafficking and Exploitation conducted a “John” operation, during which a female officer acted as an undercover decoy.

The officer communicated and met with the men who had reached out to her for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity, according to Lt. Frank Clark in a release from the South Portland Police Department. 

Arrested were Sante Calandri, 60, of Arundel; Timothy Pennell, 35, of Wells; Allan Graves, 66, of Newton, Connecticut; and Michael Walsh, 40, of Millinocket. All were all transported to the Cumberland County Jail and issued a Nov. 21 court date. 

Officers from the South Portland, Gorham and Windham police departments, assisted by the FBI, participated in the operation.

Clark said the name and address of the hotel were not being released because law enforcement officials will continue to conduct stings at local hotels and don’t want to put their investigation in jeopardy.

“Knowing many on the supply side of prostitution are subject to sex trafficking, or otherwise not necessarily willing participants, and in our ongoing efforts to keep prostitution and other illegal activities out of our community and the city’s hotels and motels, this operation was intended to reduce demand by sending a clear message to those who may be seeking prostitution services via the internet or otherwise,” Frank said. “Stop now or the next meeting you arrange may be with an undercover police officer.”

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