Haverhill, Massachusetts, Police Officers Get Lucky At Prostitution Bust And Turn To Drug War

Last night, all major crimes of the area having apparently been prevented or solved, Haverhill police officers set their sights on their admittedly decreasing prostitution concern. It was said to be a lucky break in their war against drugs.

They ended up arresting a “major cocaine dealer” who had a drug sales ledger containing the names of “prominent” Haverhill residents. The ledger, according to the police, will kick off an investigation that could lead to a series of arrests.

Christos Eleftheriou, 45, of Haverhill, was arrested at 8:11 p.m. after he propositioned a woman police officer for sex during the prostitution sting, said police spokesman Sgt. John Arahovites. He was charged with sexual conduct for a fee and brought to the police station, where police found 16 grams of powdered cocaine in five bags on him with a street value of $16,200, along with $340 in cash, Sgt. Arahovites said.

The officers then got a search warrant for Eleftheriou’s vehicle, a Ford Explorer, and found drug scales, $2,800 in cash and the ledger containing the names of several people. “Given the evidence seized, it appears he is a major cocaine dealer in Haverhill,” Sgt. Arahovites said. “There were the names of several prominent people in the ledger.” According to Sgt. Arahovites, the new information will widen their investigation beyond Eleftheriou, and that other arrests are possible.

Eleftherious’s reward was additional charges involving trafficking in cocaine and is scheduled to be arraigned today in Haverhill District Court.

Sgt. Arahovites said Eleftheriou is well known in Haverhill, and that he and his family own and operate the Haverhill House of Pizza sandwich shop in Riversedge Plaza next to Haverhill Stadium. He went on to explain that the arrest linking Eleftheriou to drug sales was “very lucky” because it came as police conducted a relatively routine prostitution sting using plain clothes women officers.

“Even though the incidents of prostitution are down, we want to keep it down,” Sgt. Arahovites said of why police do the stings several times a year. He said the department conducts stings about four times a year and they have been successful in keeping down the number of prostitutes working the streets of Haverhill and the number of men who are looking to pay for sex.

Apparently eager to give the specific location of this scourge on the public streets, he explained that last night’s sting started just after dark in the inner-city area of Winter, Portland, Welcome and Cottage streets where prostitutes have been known to work. The area is at the edge of the Acre neighborhood and just north of downtown. The stings usually begin with police getting real prostitutes off the street. Then, the competition having been removed, having women officers in plain clothes walk the area. When men drive up and proposition the women officers for sex, they are arrested, he said.

Sgt. Arahovites said the sting was run by police Captain Alan Ratte, two women officers and six undercover detectives
Sam’s take:

Trying very hard to sidestep a multitude of comments about the officers getting “lucky” going after what has been said to be the world’s “oldest profession”, I will steer my comments to the misadventures of Christos Eleftheriou. As one would imagine, his problems have now increased well beyond anyone in adult entertainment can help him with.

First of all, the man now becomes a human footnote in my long-standing argument in these daily blogs suggesting that it is best not to take a bad situation and make it much, much worse. Obviously, there are certain risks involved in approaching street level prostitutes. For example, you may run into the police in a less than pleasant manner. Might I suggest that if you are going to so engage, you might not want to bring thousands of dollars in cash, drugs, drug paraphernalia and your drug-related paperwork with you? In fact, any paperwork reflecting any illegal activity is far from wise. Finally, if you are “well known” in the area, these bad ideas are even worse.

The unfortunate Mr. Eleftherious is now caught in the web of criminal justice and I would wager that he is being given the opportunity to decide which role he wishes to take. One option is that he can simply be satisfied with playing the role of defendant and sit back watching the arrests roll in from investigations inspired by his ledger. This particular show will have a certain amount of suspense for him, waiting for the climax, which will be the forming of a conspiracy prosecution linking the new arrestees with him in which he will be charged with everything everyone else did in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Mr. Eleftherious will be given another option, however, if he has not already been so offered. He will be given an invitation to join the prosecution in its quest and assist them in building and prosecuting their case(s). This helpful hand of prosecution will bring its own risks of a more obvious kind.

You know, it might have been easier (and cheaper) to simply call an escort service…!

By the way, is there anyone else out there curious about the fact that upon coincidently happening upon the “well known” Mr. Eleftherious walking around with over $16,000 in drugs and money on his person, that the officers suddenly knew to seek a search warrant for only his car and not his home?

I know, I’m too suspicious. Been in the trenches for too long.

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