Prostitution arrests in Gaithersburg

Two Gaithersburg residents and a woman from New York have been arrested for their alleged parts in a prostitution ring that rotated women through an apartment in the 400 block of North Summit Drive in Gaithersburg.

The activity drew attention in May from neighbors and police officers after individuals solicited customers using advertising calling cards left around the area, said Officer Dan Lane, spokesman for the Gaithersburg Police.

An investigation showed women from out-of-state would arrive at the apartment for a time, engage in prostitution, then return home, police said in announcing the arrests.

Police recovered advertising cards, more than $3,000 in cash and an undisclosed amount of cocaine in a search that has left three people held at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

Arrested Thursday, said Lane, were Maria Puertas, 50, of Fresh Meadows, New York, who is charged with prostitution; and Brenda Hernandez, 39, and Fabiola Lira-Gomez,39, both of Gaithersburg and both charged with prostitution and housing prostitution and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

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