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By AMY HERDY
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 17, 2001
A Palm Harbor woman is among eight people accused of being involved in an Internet prostitution ring based in Tampa and North Carolina.
Investigators from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and North Carolina said 32-year-old John Robert Hubard of 8897 Key West Circle in Tampa and 31-year-old Eric Caldwell of Pfafftown, N.C., were owners of Private Pets Escort Service.
In addition, Teresa Jones, 33, of 116 Dunbridge Drive in Palm Harbor, described as a third owner of the business, was arrested on prostitution and racketeering charges.
Caldwell was arrested Monday afternoon in North Carolina, and detectives said Hubard was on the run and thought to be in Tennessee. They face prostitution and racketeering charges.
Hubard designed the Web site that advertised women for a rate of $300 per hour, said Chief Deputy James Coats of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The women responded to calls in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and in North Carolina, Coats said.
The women arrested were 33-year-old Michelle Germaine of 143 Glades Circle in Largo, 18-year-old Samantha Noland of 6406 Cresthill Drive in Tampa, 38-year-old Spring Cook of 6407 Heathermoor Court in Tampa, 24-year-old Michele Allen of 14424 Hellenic Drive in Tampa and 21-year-old Amber Griffith of 8715 Long Needles in Tampa.
Notes on clients, Coats said, included names, physical descriptions, payment method and sexual preferences. "I'd be concerned if I was a man who was in that ledger," said Hillsborough sheriff's Maj. Rocky Rodriguez.
- Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Eight are arrested in Web sex operation (February 16, 2001)