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Pittsfield Police Break Up Alleged Prostitution Ring

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police have broken up an alleged prostitution ring.
 
Police arrested Randy Lambach, 45, of Becket, and Joseph VanWert, 65, of Pittsfield, on charges of human trafficking, knowingly permitting prostitution on the premises, and sexual conduct for a fee. They are currently being held without bail.
 
In the spring, the Department noticed an increased number of calls regarding proposition and solicitation in certain areas. Patrol officers gathered information, relating those involved in the alleged prostitution with narcotics addiction. 
 
Officer Brenna Dorr led a lengthy investigation which Police said revealed that women were being recruited by Lambach and that he facilitate sexual encounters. The women were then compensated in narcotics - including heroin, cocaine and prescription medication. 
 
"The women were recruited by Lambach, then photographed and advertised on social media sites. Lambach facilitated meeting locations with prospective 'johns' and transported these women to specified locations. He would often wait nearby to take a portion of the earnings. He would also compensate the women with narcotics in lieu of cash. This included heroin, cocaine and prescription medication," wrote Lt. Michael Maddalena in a release issued Tuesday morning. 
 
Police said the practice had been going on for several years. Nearly all of the women allegedly recruited by Lambach were suffering from drug addiction issues and VanWert's residence at a senior living facility was allegedly used as a place to conduct proposition.
 
Police say additional charges are pending. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Officer Dorr at 413-448- 9700 ext 384.
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