By Bill Parry
Eight men were arrested on the corner of 80th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights last Friday night, caught in an NYPD prostitution sting operation, according to police. The men offered money in exchange for sex to an undercover officer, police said.
The men, who ranged in age from 22 to 44 years old, offered between $30 and $500 for various sex acts. Four of the men arrested, Guy Bandenay, 44, Alvaro Sanchez, 39, Carlos Quituizaca, 28, and Cruz Mora, 25, were charged with patronizing a prostitute in the third degree, according to the Queens District Attorney office. The other four individuals pleaded guilty to a violation.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) has complained to law enforcement officials and the Queens District Attorney’s Office about the location for years. Last November, Peralta joined state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst) in calling for an 11-member Roosevelt Avenue Commission, that would bring together community boards, the NYPD, the FDNY and various city agencies to help clean up the business corridor from 48th Street to 114th Street.
“Unfortunately, this vibrant avenue has become the New Times Square, and as there was a political will to clean up Times Square, it is my hope that there is political will to clean up Roosevelt Avenue,” Peralta said. “This is one of the most culturally diverse thoroughfares in New York City, and as one of the gems of Queens, we should make sure New Yorkers and visitors are able to enjoy it without persistent crime. I want to thank the Police and the Queens District Attorney’s office for the operation that led to the eight arrests.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr