Seven women were charged with prostitution following an undercover sting at a Merrillville hotel earlier this month, police said.
The Feb. 16 sting was conducted by Lake Station police detectives along with members of the Porter County Drug Task Force, Lake Station Police Chief Kevin Garber said.
Prior to the sting operation, detectives had communicated with several of the women from an Internet site and made arrangements to meet with them on the night of Feb. 16.
The investigation was launched by Lake Station police after the department had received complaints from residents about women advertising prostitution on online classified advertising sites, Garber said.
The women placing the ads were from Lake and Porter County, police said.
The sting operation began at approximately 6 p.m. Feb. 16 and continued until the early morning hours of Feb. 17, Garber said.
After a recorded conversation with the undercover officers, the women were met by uniformed officers, who told them they were under arrest for prostitution.
Those charged with prostitution through Lake Station City Court were Amanda Wilson, 26, of Highland; Patricia K. Elder, 25, of Gary; Rachel Koble, 24, of Lowell; Nickole Ginger Rockwell, 29, of Griffith; Shaquita L. Curtis, 24, of Gary; and Br'hea A. Williams, 28, of Georgia.
Zena Trass, 29, of Miami, was charged with prostitution as well as resisting law enforcement, battery on law enforcement, possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct.
Trass and Curtis also had outstanding warrants, police said.