Police raid Sarasota County escort service

SARASOTA COUNTY – from www.heraldtribune.com – They advertised mainly on the Internet: Beautiful young women, great rates and the utmost discretion.

The business — Sweets Upscale Escorts — was anything but legitimate, authorities say, and their gaudy Internet ads helped detectives take down a prostitution ring.

Authorities raided a home in Gulf Gate, where the suspected ringleader provided women, cocaine and rooms to paying customers, according to court documents.

The homeowner and registered owner of Sweets Upscale Escorts, 59-year-old Frank Demarco, has been charged with possession of crack cocaine after law enforcement officers reportedly found drugs in the house in the 3000 block of Williamsburg Street in December.

Authorities were looking for more than drugs, however, in the raid. They wanted evidence that Demarco provided prostitutes, allowing customers to pay for a room and a woman — and sometimes plying his employees with cocaine, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The court documents show that the home was the site of numerous police calls in 2009, from stolen drugs to fighting.

Detectives were also aware that Sweets relied heavily on the Internet to drum up new customers, even showing pictures of escorts on a Web site.

Former escorts — who had been caught in undercover stings while working for Sweets — reportedly told detectives that Demarco required his employees to sign a “no prostitution” contract but later told the women that “sex will be expected,” the affidavit shows.

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