7 ON YOUR SIDE investigates prostitution sting after Md. firefighter, C.O. charged
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (ABC7) —
A Montgomery County firefighter and a Maryland correctional officer are facing charges after they were caught in a prostitution sting in Prince George's County last month.
ABC7 News Reporter Tim Barber broke the story on Thursday and now, 7 ON YOUR SIDE I-Team Investigator Scott Taylor has uncovered much more about what went down inside a Red Roof Inn in College Park on May 23.
The Prince George's County Police Vice Unit posted an ad on Backpage.com and 14 men answered it by coming to the motel. The I-Team discovered not all 14 were treated the same way by PGPD.
According to court documents, Montgomery County Firefighter Eric Smolinsky, 33, answered the ad by texting a detective who was posing as a prostitute.
Smolinsky’s texts include the following statement: “Out of the shower ready when u are can be there 10 min”.
He later entered the hotel room, handed over $60 and took off all of his clothes.
Maryland Correctional Officer Godson Appiah was also caught in the sting.
Charging documents state a detective texted Appiah the rates: $60 for a 15 minute stay.
Appiah texted back saying, “Cn u do $40?”
When he entered the room documents say he used a finger to poke at the undercover officer's breast.
Fourteen men were arrested and taken to District 1 for processing. That's where things get weird. Smolinsky and Appiah, unlike the other 12 suspects, were released from custody and police notified the two men’s employers of their arrests.
Then there's more--remember this all went down on May 23. On Smolinsky's charging document, the date of May 24 is crossed off and May 26 is written in. Then on the charging documents for Appiah, they have a date of June 6.
Police tell 7 ON YOUR SIDE an internal affairs investigation is now underway.
A spokesperson for the department emailed ABC7 News the statement below:
"Five weeks ago, on Tuesday, May 23, during a prostitution sting operation in College Park, 14 individuals were arrested. All 14 were handcuffed and taken to District I for processing. Two of the arrestees were then released and charged later. One individual was charged 72 hours later, the other was charged the following week. Their employers were notified of the arrests, unlike the other 12 who were arrested in the same operation. However, the supervising officer's decision to release and charge two of the suspects at later dates is under investigation by our Internal Affairs Division."
Both Smolinsky and Appiah were charged with two counts of prostitution.
Smolinksky is still on active duty with the Montgomery County Fire Department. Appiah is currently on paid leave.
ABC7 News reached out to both men and have not received a response.
Below are the court documents for Smolinsky and Appiah: