Two Northeast men were among five “Johns” arrested by Philadelphia police last Thursday as part of a prostitution sting in the city’s Harrowgate section.
Officers posing as hookers began soliciting for patrons at about 10 a.m. on the 3500 block of Kensington Ave. and the 1200 to 1800 blocks of East Ontario St. The news media were alerted to the police operation in advance and were invited to observe.
During a two-hour, 18-minute period, police arrested five men who allegedly offered to pay the undercover officers for sex. The men included John Francis, 49, of the 2900 block of Gilham St. in Mayfair and Stevenson Alcis, 35, of the 1100 block of Hellerman St. in Castor Gardens.
The others were Benjamin Vonyan Allen, 54, of the 2100 block of New Rodgers Road in Levittown; Desmond Cunningham, 47, of the 1700 block of W. Nedro Ave.; Robert Santiago, 36, of the 2100 block of E. Stella St.; and Charles Elgart, 69, of the 1100 block of Plowshare Road in Blue Bell.
In addition to the arrests, police confiscated $2,064 cash, three Viagra pills and five vehicles used in the alleged solicitations. All were charged with patronizing a prostitute, while Elgart was also charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance. They were released from custody on their own recognizance. ••