By SHELLEY TERRY



Staff Writer

sterry@starbeacon.com



ASHTABULA - - 'Johns' were the target of a prostitution sting Thursday night at South Park.

Several city police officers, members of the department's Special Operations Group, participated in the sting, and an undercover officer posed as a prostitute. The operation, conducted 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, quickly filled the city jail, said detective Sgt. Joe Cellitti.

"It was like fishing in the spillway," he said. "The results were much better than expected."

Police said the sting took place because neighbors spoke up.

"We were told a great number of individuals seek this kind of activity," Cellitti said. "We thought, 'We'll go in with our undercover operation,' and it worked. If we would have had more manpower, we could have arrested more (Johns)."

Officers arrested the violators, known as "Johns," who stopped and solicited them for sex.

The following suspects were arrested Thursday and charged with soliciting, a misdemeanor of the third degree: Isler Ferrando, 70, of 1628 Union Ave.; Stanley F. Kurzawa, 58, of 3618 Station Ave.; Dale Durey, 23, of 2018 Crane Ave.; Roger D. Copelin, 63, of 3831 Lake Ave.; Gary L. Coy, 54, of 1851 S. Ridge W., and John D. Hall Jr., 55, of 503 W. 58th St.

All could face jail time and fines, Municipal Court officials said.

Star Beacon Print Edition: 9/16/2006

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