Undercover Mt. Vernon prostitution sting nets 23

Almost two dozen men from Westchester and Rockland County were arrested in an undercover prostitution ring in Mount Vernon.

The two-day undercover operation took place Thursday and Friday nights. Police said they had undercover cops act as decoys for suspects who approached them and offered to engage in sexual acts for a fee.

After a short time, police said they arrested 23 men and charged them with patronizing a prostitute. Two were busted for attempted assault and one for drug possession. The sting netted suspects from the Bronx, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, White Plains and Nanuet. They range in age from 17 to 50 years old.

"We want to send a clear message that you don't come to Mount Vernon to do this kind of business and this is not acceptable,? Mount Vernon Police Commissioner David Chong said.

Cops said the neighborhood will be safer and the quality of life will improve with the suspects off the streets. Some residents agreed. Others, however, said there are worse problems in Mount Vernon than prostitution.

Fourteen vehicles were also seized in the sting.

All of the suspects are scheduled to be back in Mount Vernon City Court this week.

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