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Forum staff reports, Published August 02 2012

Fargo police arrest 2 johns in prostitution sting

FARGO – Two Fargo men were arrested for allegedly trying to pay for sex during a prostitution sting that targeted both prostitutes and johns Tuesday at a Fargo hotel.

Joseph Ross Naylor, 32, and Bruce Everett Stevens, 26, were arrested on suspicion of hiring an individual to engage in sexual activity, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The two men allegedly responded to an escort advertisement posted by detectives on the website www.fargo.backpage.com, Lt. Joel Vettel said.

Fargo police have received recurring reports of prostitutes doing business at Fargo hotels, but there was no information about them operating at Econo Lodge West at 3825 9th Ave. S. where Tuesday’s sting took place, Vettel said. That hotel and 26 other hotels and motels in Fargo have agreed to cooperate with police on the stings to deter crime, he said.

In a new approach for Fargo police, investigators targeted prostitutes as well as johns during Tuesday’s sting by calling ads on backpage.com, but no women were arrested for prostitution, Vettel said.