9 arrested in Smyrna prostitution operation
by Sarah Westwood
June 07, 2014 04:00 AM | 9334 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Teresa Rimes
Teresa Rimes
Shermaine Burns
Shermaine Burns
John Ralls
John Ralls
SMYRNA — Smyrna police arrested nine suspects in connection with a prostitution operation at the County Inn and Suites Hotel off Church Road on Thursday evening.

Four women and five men were taken into custody in and around the hotel, according to Officer C.D. Graeff, Smyrna police spokesman, on warrants issued early Friday morning.

Irina Tarasova, 29, Teresa Rimes, 39, Shermaine Burns, 41, and Keeanna Williams, 21, were charged with prostitution in the operation, during which police say they partnered with the Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force.

Police also charged Rontess Pickens, 26, Quintin Coleman, 32, and a 17-year-old male with pimping. Coleman also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license.

Task force agents also posed as juveniles soliciting sex over the Internet, which police say helped them gather information about the suspected prostitutes.

Investigators say the undercover operation led them to charge John Ralls, 67, with enticing a child, and John Lawler, 55, with child molestation, both of which are felonies.

Police say Lawler is an employee at the Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville.

Graeff says police do not plan to make any additional arrests in this specific operation at this time.

All of the suspects are being held in the county jail.

The MDJ reported in April the dissolution of another prostitution operation at a Smyrna Hyatt hotel.

According to a police report, officers negotiated prices for sexual acts and paid hundreds of dollars in cash, but once the funds changed hands, arrests were made instead. The incidents happened at the Hyatt Place Hotel off Spring Hill Parkway just off Cumberland Boulevard. Graeff said that string of arrests marked the first time Smyrna police teamed with MATCH to tackle prostitution. The same organization helped officers in Thursday’s operation.

Sgt. Dana Pierce, a spokesman for Cobb police, says prostitution rings in the area often involve the same people.

“There seems to be some of the standard, same players that we see in prostitution that operate in Cobb and other metro Atlanta counties,” Pierce explained.

Pierce said police investigate such operations when citizens lodge complaints about possible prostitution activity. Investigators from Cobb’s intelligence and narcotics units then determine if the activity constitutes an isolated incident or if it is indicative of an organized operation.

Pierce noted that prostitution activity tends to ebb and flow throughout the year. Certain events in the area — even those outside of county lines — can sometimes bring more solicitors in, he said.

According to Pierce, sporting events and conventions that draw crowds to the Atlanta region can also cause an influx of prostitution activity.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Area Going Down
June 07, 2014
Crime and illegal activity has already increased as a result of the new Braves stadium. Pimps, prostitutes and molesters are already trying to stake their ground
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides