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Police arrest nine in prostitution sting

Burlington police arrested nine men on sex crime charges in a prostitution sweep conducted on Friday, authorities said.

An undercover female police officer posted ads on a website “well known for being a haven for classified ads offering sex for a fee,” Burlington police said in a statement released Sunday.

Charged with engaging in sexual conduct for a fee were: Emad Aljahdi, 34, of Burlington, Aaron Bath, 43, of Billerica, Richard Homsi, 50, of Waltham, Auric Mak, 35, of Lowell, Grishkumar Patel, 53, of Woburn, Anthony Petruno, 29, of Acton, Lawrence Rounds, 49, of Reading, and Mauro Santiago, 36, of Dracut.

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Homsi was also charged with indecent assault and battery on a person over age 14 after he allegedly groped the undercover officer, according to the police statement.

Shakwaan Simpkins, 24, of Brockton was charged with trafficking of persons for sexual servitude after attempting to “recruit” the undercover officer to work for him as a prostitute, police said.

The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday in Woburn District Court.

The arrests were made as part of a series of sweeps announced by Burlington police last month in an attempt to drive sex crimes and human trafficking away from Burlington.


Reenat Sinay can be reached at reenat.sinay@globe.com.