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George T. Shaw's arrest is the latest in the ongoing investigation into a city prostitution ring, but apparently the first of a person alleged to have paid for sex. Two men, year-old Joseph E. Van Wert, of Becket, and Randy W. Lambach, 45, of Pittsfield, are each being held without bail, pending dangerousness hearings on charges connected to the alleged operation of the ring.
About a. While watching the vehicle, police said a woman known to be involved in prostitution, exited the passenger side of the car. According to court files, police had been looking for the vehicle for several days prior to Friday, without success. Police caught up to Shaw's vehicle on Robbins Avenue and attempted to pull over the vehicle, but Shaw continued driving until stopping on Onota Street near Lakeway Drive.
Police told Shaw they needed to speak with him concerning the human trafficking and prostitution investigations. Police spotted an item in Shaw's pocket and asked him out of the car and frisked him for weapons.
Also in the car, police found two prescriptions that weren't Shaw's; one for Suboxone and another for Gabapentin, which is used to treat seizures, among other ailments. Police also found condoms, lubricant and a state-issued debit card in the name of a woman police say is involved in prostitution. During booking, Shaw was told the investigation showed he had paid for sex with at least three different women, all of whom were victims in the ongoing human trafficking investigation. Shaw was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court Friday before Judge Michael Ripps and entered not guilty pleas to three counts of sexual conduct for a fee and one count Ladies seeking sex Lee Massachusetts failing to stop for police.
Ripps released Shaw on personal recognizance. He is due back in court on Jan. Meanwhile, Van Wert and Lambach are expected in court on Nov. Lambach is accused of seeking out women with a drug addiction, placing photos of them in online classified for sexual services, making arrangements with the customers and transporting the women to and from their appointments. According to witnesses in the investigation, Lambach would keep most of the money the women earned and threatened to turn them in to police if they stopped working for him.
The investigation showed that Van Wert's apartment was used for people to have sex with the women alleged to have been trafficked, and he was paid in cash and drugs for the use of his home. Lambach has pleaded not guilty to four counts of human trafficking.
Van Wert has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit human trafficking, deriving support from prostitution, maintaining a house of prostitution and sexual conduct for a fee. Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn berkshireeagle. Edit Close.
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