EAST HAZEL CREST | A Hammond woman and four from Illinois were arrested on charges of prostitution or pimping following an undercover operation by the East Hazel Crest Police Department, police said.
Erica Ivy, 24, of Hammond, Sylvia Trammell, 28, of Rockford, Porsche McCoy, 25, of Alsip, and Latonya Rivers, 40, of Hazel Crest, all were charged with prostitution. Kristine Butler, 24, of Park Forest, is charged with pimping, police said.
On Aug. 29, an undercover East Hazel Crest officer posed as a customer at a local hotel and arrested one woman staying there. Three more suspected of providing prostitution services in the East Hazel Crest area were also arrested nearby.
One person was charged with pimping and another person suspected of pimping was detained but later released without charges.
Police conducted the undercover operation in response to complaints from residents in the area.
"We are mindful of complaints and problems associated with prostitution and pimping and want to send a strong message to people involved in these crimes that they will not be tolerated in our village," Police Chief Raymond Robertson said in a news release.