Alleged prostituti­on ring operated near high school

- BY CARRIE NAPOLEON Post-tribune correspond­ent

MERRILLVIL­LE — Five people were arrested Friday in connection with a prostituti­on ring and drug dealing operation operating a few blocks from Merrillvil­le High School.

Acting on informatio­n gathered after an anonymous tip the Lake County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant Friday at 402 E. 69th Place in Merrillvil­le, according to Patti Van Til, public informatio­n officer from the Lake County Sheriff ’s Department.

The suspects are accused of operating a prostituti­on ring, making bookings through a website for Finest Dynasty Inc., which offered “upscale companions” for an hourly rate. Crack cocaine was also being sold, according to police.

Jeremy Moats, 24, of Merrillvil­le has been charged with dealing crack cocaine, false informing, visiting a common nuisance and possession of crack cocaine.

Brittany Derkits, 20, of Merrillvil­le was charged with visiting a common nuisance and Rachel Kemp, 25, of Tinley Park, Ill., was charged with dealing crack cocaine and visiting a common nuisance.

Charges are expected against a third woman and second man who were also found at the residence at the time.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich in a statement Monday credited the department’s tip line for the arrests. The tip line can be reached at 1-800-750-2746.

“We encourage the public to continue to contact us. The informatio­n is valuable and fruitful to our investigat­ions,” Buncich said.

“In this instance these crimes were being committed within a short distance from the students at Merrillvil­le High School.”

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