Six area men have been arrested following a “John” sting operation run by the Montgomery County Detective Bureau and the Upper Merion Police Department, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
Arrested were Sunil Shantilal Jagani of Malvern; Andrew H. Kim of Willow Grove; Scott Elliott Koefsky of Royersford; Laltendu Mahapatra of North Wales; Jason Daniel Schenck of Philadelphia, and Eric D. Zettle of Norristown, District Attorney Risa Ferman said.
All six men face charges of patronizing prostitutes. Additionally, Koefsky faces a gun charge for illegally concealing a .25-caliber handgun, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The arrests are the result of a “john” sting coordinated by the Montgomery County Detective Bureau and the Upper Merion Police Department in response to human trafficking and the commercial-sex trade in Montgomery County.
As part of the sting operation, officers placed advertisements online offering prostitution services, the District Attorney’s Office said. Jagani, Kim, Koefsky, Mahapatra, Schenck and Zettle all responded to the ad, the DA’s Office said, adding that “hundreds of communications (text messages and phone calls) took place.” Meetings were arranged and the price for sexual services discussed, authorities said.
Each defendant arrived in King of Prussia for his meeting with an undercover officer posing as a prostitute before being arrested and taken into custody, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The charges were filed Monday with Magisterial District Judge William Maruszczak of King Prussia. All six defendants will face preliminary hearings before Judge Maruszcak, which have yet to be scheduled.
All six cases will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jordan S. Friter.