Undercover deputy poses as prostitute during sting that lands five men in jail

Lashon Townes

Five men have been arrested on charges of Prostitution following a reverse sting operation at a Florence motel at Highway 52 and the I-95 spur Tuesday night, according to Michael Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

Lashon Townes, Christopher Grooms, Ary Mello, Elvis Colenberg and Marcus Evans are each charged with Sex/Prostitution First Offense, according to the Florence County Detention Center website.

Grooms faces an additional charge of Possession of Marijuana First Offense.

Nunn says an undercover deputy posed as a prostitute on a popular web page for female escorts.

He says several people responded and five men agreed to meet the undercover deputy and pay her in exchange for sex acts.

Motel managers in the area alerted authorities after seeing an increase in prostitution.

The name of the motel and the website aren't being released for investigative purposes, Nunn said.

Florence police narcotics investigators assisted in this investigation.