A Providence man and a Lawrence, Mass., woman were arrested on prostitution charges Thursday following a task force investigation, according to Rhode Island State Police.
Giancarlo Fermin, 27, of 82 Sackett St., first floor in Providence, is charged with pandering or permitting prostitution, while Cristalis Liriano, 22, of 1 River Place, Apt. 210 in Lawrence, is charged with prostitution. The arrests were made after an undercover detective met Liriano at a Warwick hotel, police said.
According to police, the Computer Crimes unit and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force initiated the investigation following the posting of an advertisement on the website Backpage.com displaying photographs of a young woman offering escort services in the Cranston area.
In coordination with the State Police Major Crimes Unit, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and Department of Homeland Security agents, detectives initiated communication with the person who posted the ad and arranged for the hotel meeting in Warwick.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday, police say, the undercover detective – posing as a customer – met Liriano at the hotel, where she negotiated for sexual services. She was then placed under arrest.
Other detectives stopped and arrested Hermin outside the hotel room after he was allegedly observed dropping Liriano off at the location. According to police, additional investigation showed Lirano had allegedly been transported by Fermin to other meetings for sexual services.
Liriano and Fermin were both arraigned at state police headquarters, and Liriano was released on $2,000 personal recognizance. Fermin – who had been sentenced to 10 years with three to serve in February 2011 on charges of bribery and possession of heroin with intent to deliver – was presented as a probation violator and ordered held at the ACI on $50,000 surety bail. He was scheduled for a bail hearing in Third Division Court on Friday.
The ICAC Task Force is comprised of members of the Computer Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Coventry, Warwick, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Portsmouth, North Kingstown, Jamestown, Bristol and South Kingstown police departments, as well as special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and United States Postal Inspection Services (USPS).