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TWO WOMEN ARRESTED FOR RUNNING PROSTITUTION OPERATION

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010— A pair of west suburban women are free on bond after being arrested on felony charges for running a house of prostitution in several suburban locations, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Wednesday.

Kimberly MinieaVicki Ward

Kimberly Miniea, 50, and Vicki Ward, 28, of Berkeley, are charged with pandering. They were arrested after a four-month investigation by the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, which was involved in a 2009 prostitution investigation into Miniea and her daughter.

Last year, Hillside Police conducted an investigation into a prostitution ring Miniea was operating there, which Cook County Sheriff’s Police assisted with. That led to a felony pandering arrest last year and Miniea had pleaded guilty to that charge this summer, receiving a sentence of two years’ probation. But in September, Hillside police learned Miniea was continuing her prostitution business in other suburbs and notified the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit.

An undercover Cook County Sheriff’s Police Officer then responded to an ad Miniea had placed in a local magazine, looking for women to work in her business. The officer was interviewed by Miniea and hired to be part of her prostitution operation. The investigation found Miniea and Ward – who has been arrested several times before on prostitution-related charges in other states – were operating the business together out of Miniea’s home in the 5700 block of Hawthorne Street.

On Dec. 1, Miniea contacted the officer and said she had arranged a “date” for her with a “john” at an apartment in the south suburbs – one of several rented locations in the south and west suburbs which Miniea and Ward used for their operation.

The man who appeared for that “date” was cited under Cook County’s public morals ordinance, meaning he is not criminally charged but faces fines exceeding $1,000 – with fines then used to fund programs for abused women. Officers then served a search warrant on Miniea’s home on Dec. 1 and arrested her there, while Ward was arrested at a rented apartment in Chicago Ridge.

Miniea, who posted a $55,000 bond on Saturday, and Ward, who posted a $20,000 bond on Saturday, are set to appear in court at 26th and California again on Dec. 23.

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