The Sept. 6 initiative was in response to community complaints about “frequent street side prostitution,” according to police. As part of the undercover operation, a female police officer posed as a prostitute and was solicited for sex acts, authorities said.
The men allegedly offered the undercover officer cash in exchange for sex and investigators said one of the five men arrested tried to trade illegal narcotics for sex. Police charged all five with third-degree patronizing a prostitute. They are: Edalberto Velasquez, 24, of Riverside; Jose Luis Rodriguez-Perez, 41, of Hampton Bays; Charles J. Hightower, 55, of Riverside; Eduardo Xuya-Tocay, 27, of Riverside; and Miguel A. Hernandez, 32, of Southampton.
Police said Xuya-Tocay and Hernandez were additionally charged unlicensed operation of a vehicle after not possessing valid driver’s licenses when stopped by police.
Hightower – who was actively on parole after being released from prison in June – was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said he possessed and then sold cocaine to the undercover officer during the prostitution transaction. After his arrest, police learned that he had an active bench warrant for a disorderly conduct incident in Bridgehampton.
All five men were processed at Southampton Town Police headquarters in Hampton Bays and either released on bail or held for arraignment.