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Authorities: 13 arrested in undercover prostitution, narcotics investigation

POSTED: February 19, 2016 2:45 p.m.
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Jesus Romero

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More than a dozen people were charged Thursday in an undercover investigation regarding prostitution.

“Agents did encounter both men and women that were seeking sexual services in exchange for currency and or narcotics,” Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes wrote in an email.

Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad agents and the Sheriff’s Office Department of Community Supervision conducted the undercover investigation. Bailes said 13 individuals met at pre-determined locations.

Those charged with pandering were: Eduardo Espinoza, 21; John Hunter Roberts, 20, of Cleveland; Daniel Muir, 21, of Clermont; Jeffery Robert McBurney, 54, of Gainesville; Ricardo Rivas, 23, of Gainesville; Jesus Romero, 44, of Gainesville; and Taylor Jordan Welch, 24, of Cleveland.

Those charged with prostitution were: Bethany Hood, 25, of Gainesville; Taylor Odenthal, 19, of Gainesville; Mariah-Marie Jassenia Simpson, 18, of Gainesville; Brittany Grizzle, 22, of Dahlonega; Rhonda Haugland, 57, of Flowery Branch; and Mariah Denise Wilson, 24, of Flowery Branch.

Espinoza, Rivas, Hood, Odenthal, Simpson, Grizzle and Wilson remained in the Hall County Jail as of press time.

Roberts, Muir and Romero declined to comment to The Times. Haugland said her last name is Cogar and declined to comment further to The Times.

Two numbers listed for McBurney in the Comprehensive Justice Information System were not operational when called by The Times.

An attempt to reach Welch for comment was unsuccessful.

Espinoza faces additional charges of possession of amphetamine and marijuana. Wilson and Rivas were also charged with illegal possession of hydrocodone.



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