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D.C. Officer Ran Prostitution Business, Police Say

By Del Quentin Wilber and Jamie Stockwell
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 22, 2004; Page B04

A District police officer has been placed on administrative duties after his arrest over the weekend on charges that he was operating a prostitution business out of a Maryland hotel, authorities said yesterday.

Eldorado Mills, who joined the force in 1990, was arrested by undercover Prince George's County police officers early Saturday. Mills, 41, was released on his own recognizance pending trial.

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The charge of running a prostitution business carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, court records show.

Reached yesterday at home, Mills said he was innocent. "It is a false arrest. I am not guilty at all," Mills said. He declined to comment further until speaking with a lawyer.

Police began their investigation after receiving a tip from an employee at the hotel who had discovered a flier advertising a party there. In charging documents, Prince George's police alleged that investigators went to Suite 301 of the Best Western Hotel at 6400 Oxon Hill Rd. about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Mills, who is assigned to the 6th Police District, met undercover officers at the door and charged them $15 each to enter, the documents allege. The officers saw a woman performing a sexual act with a man and other men placing dollar bills on her, police wrote in charging papers.

Four other women entered from an adjoining suite, police wrote. The officers also watched as men placed dollar bills on naked women who were dancing to music in the room, the documents allege.

The officers left, called other police to the scene and raided the rooms. Police said they recovered Mills's police-issued pistol from a holster on the officer's hip.

They seized 14 one-dollar bills in one of Mills's pockets and $102 in another. They also recovered a receipt for the hotel room from Mills, police said.

Officers seized a four-inch knife, a digital video camera, business cards and a large amount of alcohol in the room, the documents allege.

Prince George's police said another man was arrested at the scene on an outstanding warrant.

Cmdr. William Ponton, who oversees the D.C. police office of professional responsibility, said Mills was placed on administrative leave.

Police officials will seek to suspend him without pay pending internal disciplinary proceedings, Ponton said. "If [the allegation] is sustained, it is serious misconduct," he said. "There are going to be serious consequences."

This year, 31 D.C. police officers have been arrested on a variety of charges -- one more than in all of 2003, police officials said. Eleven of the officers were hired in 1989 or 1990, years when an intense hiring push led the department to cut corners on background checks and psychological testing.

In 2002, 22 D.C. police officers were arrested.

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