BENTONVILLE A Rogers church employee was one of 11 people arrested by Bentonville police during a prostitution sting earlier this week.
Joshua Wisdom of Rogers was a student pastor at The Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers. He was among several people arrested Wednesday for sexual solicitation, Bentonville Police Chief James Allen said.
Nine people were arrested Wednesday night; two more were arrested Thursday night, Allen said.
Wisdom, 37, has resigned his position with the church, said Andy Wilson, the executive leader of ministry and operations at First Baptist Church of Springdale and The Church at Pinnacle Hills.
“We are deeply saddened and grieved by a report we received today, Aug. 12, 2010, and we are praying for our Springdale and Pinnacle Hills family,” Wilson said in an e-mail.
“We have requested and received the resignation of Josh Wisdom, effective immediately. We are shocked at this news; however, we are looking to the Lord who provides us strength in the midst of a crisis. We are ministering to the Wisdom family and request that you pray for them,” Wilson wrote.
The meetings were arranged through an online service, Allen said.
Allen said the arrests were the result of an undercover operation targeting potential customers. Allen said his department has also done operations aimed at the promoters and prostitutes.
“We will continue to aggressively go against all three,” Allen said. “This operation really targeted the customer.”
Others arrested Wednesday were Madison Blaxton, 24, of Joplin, Mo.; Keith Worsham, 47, of Van Buren; Jimmy Lewis, 32, of Siloam Springs; Keith Maestri, 55, of Tontitown; Brandon McClees, 30, of Gentry; Brad Galloway, 32, of Winchester, Ky.; Jared Vannoy, 37, of Bella Vista and Kevin Constantine, 47, of Cheney, Wash.
The two arrested Thursday were Jamie C. Britt, 41, of Little Rock and Daniel E. Hendrick, 28, of Bethel Heights. Britt and Hendrick were arrested on charges of sexual solicitation and loitering.
Eight of the first nine men were also issued citations and released. Galloway also was arrested for public intoxication and taken to the Benton County Jail. He was later released on citation.
Sexual solicitation is a class B misdemeanor. The punishment carries a jail sentence not to exceed 90 days; a fine not exceeding $500 or both.
Source: Arkansas State Law
Britt was also arrested for tampering with evidence when he attempted to delete information from his cell phone at the time of his arrest, Allen said.
Allen said his department received complaints about prostitution at local hotels in the past.
Bentonville police arrested Christopher Wayne Foster, 27, on kidnapping and prostitution charges in May. According to court documents, Foster claimed he has had up to seven women working as prostitutes for him. Foster said he recruited “his females” by placing Internet ads asking for girls who wanted to work in the escort business, according to the affidavit.
Foster is charged with kidnapping, a class Y felony; aggravated assault, a class D felony; and promoting prostitution in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor. He is being held in the Benton County Jail on $100,000 bond.