From Leigh Valley Live
A prostitute who worked with city police in a heroin-buy sting earlier this month kept the drug after the operation and was later caught with a needle in her arm, according to court records.
Janet Smith, 54, of Fourth Street in Easton, is charged with theft by deception and tampering with evidence for the Feb. 11 crime, records say. She is being held in the Northampton County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail.
An Easton police detective met with Smith, who was identified in court papers as a known prostitute, on the afternoon of Feb. 11 to have her make a controlled heroin buy, according to records. The detective checked Smith and found she did not have any money or contraband, records say.
“She was voluntarily cooperating with law enforcement at the time,” said Easton police Inspector Matthew Gerould, adding Smith has had contact with city police in the past.
The detective provided Smith with $60 to buy heroin from a drug dealer identified only as Jay. Police followed Smith to an undisclosed location, where a man handed her something in exchange for the money and then walked away, records say.
Smith had been instructed to meet police at a predetermined location to turn over the heroin, but instead went up the block to her room at Hotel Lafayette, according to court records. Police watched Smith the entire time she walked to the hotel, Gerould said.
Officers entered the hotel, went to Smith’s room, and knocked on the door, identifying themselves as police, according to court records.
An unknown man opened the door, and officers saw Smith sitting on the bed inside with her left shirt sleeve rolled up to the elbow, according to court records. A hypodermic needle was sticking out of Smith’s left arm, records say. Smith quickly threw the needle under the bed and failed to produce for officers the purchased heroin, records say.
Complications during police operations similar to Smith’s “don’t happen routinely,” said Gerould, noting she was found quickly after leaving the spot of the heroin buy.
Smith also allegedly offered oral sex to an undercover police officer with Easton police’s vice/narcotics unit earlier on Feb. 11. Officers were conducting street-level operations that day in response to complaints by local residents and business owners, according to Gerould.
The undercover officer stopped his car near Smith at South Third and Pine streets. Smith approached the car and agreed to perform oral sex on the officer for $20, records say.
A preliminary hearing for Smith is set for 9 a.m. Friday before District Judge Gay Elwell.