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Reno resident arrested for pandering

By ThisIsReno
Published: Last Updated on

Reno police badgeRoosevelt Vonner, a 39-year-old Reno resident, was arrested Friday for pandering in a prostitution operation conducted by detectives from the Regional Street Enforcement Team (SET).

The operation targeted a 20-year-old woman who had posted an advertisement on a website which caters to customers of prostitution. SET had contacted the same woman Feb. 26 when she and another female were with Vonner when he was arrested for pandering a third female.

During the February incident the third female and victim of the pandering, who was 23 at the time, claimed that Vonner had been pimping her and upon her escape threatened her and her family with his vehicle and a firearm. Vonner was arrested for multiple felony charges stemming from the February incident. He ultimately pleaded guilty in Washoe County District Court to pandering and a firearm violation. He is scheduled for sentencing on those charges in mid January.

Friday an undercover SET detective contacted the 20-year-old woamn, who was suspected of being exploited/pimped by Vonner, and negotiated sex acts in exchange for $250 and a teddy bear, which was purported to be a Christmas gift for her daughter. She agreed to meet at a local downtown hotel/casino.

The team observed the woman arrive with Vonner, who then walked the area of the meet while talking to the female on a cell phone. He was conducting counter surveillance in an attempt to identify a police sting. A few moments later the woman met with the undercover detective and confirmed the terms of the negotiations. She and Vonner were then detained without incident.

Based on the investigation, Vonner was arrested for pandering, for the second time in less than a year. The woman was issued a citation and provided with resources to escape the prostitution lifestyle. It is SET’s goal to assist females being exploited and involved in prostitution to escape the lifestyle, and therefore the woman’s name will not be released.

The team will continue to aggressively target individuals who encourage or force the females to engage in prostitution, as well as the customers of prostitution.

Prostitution of all forms is illegal in Washoe County. According to the team, the scenario of a female engaging in prostitution with a male associate nearby is very common. Detectives say customers of illegal prostitution are at great risk of peripheral crimes such as robbery and battery as well as contracting sexually transmitted diseases.