Seven women, including several from this area, have been arrested on prostitution charges as a result of an investigation this week by the Hancock County METRICH Drug Task Force.

Those charged are from Findlay, Delphos, Delta, Toledo and Clayton, Michigan.

The arrests were made Thursday at a local hotel after METRICH officers became aware of internet advertisements regarding illegal sexual activity in Findlay, according to police Sgt. Justin Hendren.

The investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Findlay Police Department and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

Facing third-degree misdemeanor charges of prostitution are: Rachel J. Lauwers, 27, Findlay; Amanda S. Ross, 28, Delphos; Brittanny A. Cox, 24, Delta; Emily G. Phillips, 21, Toledo; Dakota J. Davis, 23, Toledo; Ashlyn M. Caverly, 24, Toledo; and Amber R. Rice, 34, Clayton, Michigan.

Rice is also facing a fifth-degree felony charge of possession of cocaine, and was still being held in the Hancock County jail on Friday.

The others have been released from the jail on bond pending appearances in Findlay Municipal Court.

Hendren said prostitution investigations result from “time to time” when police become aware of information that it is occurring in Findlay.

While all those charged in this week’s investigation were female, police have used females posing as prostitutes to bring charges against males who solicit sex from them.

No males were charged as part of this investigation, which is continuing.

Hancock METRICH is supported by METRICH in Mansfield, and funded in part by the state Office of Criminal Justice Services.

Originally published in The Courier on November 17, 2018.