An early-morning strip club raid by West Deptford police and officers from nearby departments netted seven arrests Saturday, six for prostitution.
The arrests represented the culmination of a six-month, multi-agency investigation into anonymous complaints that employees of Club Champagne were soliciting guests for various sex acts, said West Deptford Acting Chief Samuel DiSimone.
For weeks prior, undercover agents from the nearby Paulsboro and Woolwich Township police departments entered the club posing as patrons and were repeatedly propositioned by its employees for various sex acts, DiSimone said.
During the execution of a search warrant just after 12 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, police identified six female employees of Club Champagne as having propositioned the undercover officers previously.
All six were arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution:
- Carla D. Souza, 24, of Philadelphia, was charged with two counts of engaging in prostitution.
- Jasmin Vasquez, 29, of Philadelphia, was charged with two counts of engaging in prostitution.
- Kristin E. Perkins, 20, of Blackwood, NJ, was charged with one count of engaging in prostitution.
- Kelly L. Sharp, 41, of Gloucester City, NJ, was charged with one count of engaging in prostitution.
- Jazmin T. Walker, 20, of Blackwood, NJ, was charged with three counts of engaging in prostitution.
- Belinda L. Spolentini, 36, of Brooklawn, NJ, was charged with one count of engaging in prostitution.
A seventh woman, 25-year-old Ashle Potts of Pine Hill, was arrested on the strength of outstanding warrants, but was not charged with engaging in prostitution.
All seven were transported to the West Deptford police station, where they were processed and released.
Police say the investigation is still ongoing and additional charges may be pending.
West Deptford police were supported in the case by the police departments of Paulsboro, Woolwich Township, and Westville, as well as county authorities from the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s Dept.
DiSimone said that the arrests themselves are not sufficient to close down the club.
"If they want, they could open up the business today," he said.
"I can’t comment whether it will be closed or it won’t; that will be up to our township administrator once they see what they’ve been charged with."
DiSimone said that in general the club is not a hot spot for activity, and that its owners have lent police the use of its security monitoring footage for unrelated events as needed.
The acting chief also credited West Deptford Detective Cpl. Richard Henry as the lead investigator on the case and Lt. Sean McKenna as its lead supervisor.
Lead tactical officer Cpl. Kevin Donohue devised the plan for the execution of the search warrant, he said.