When the El Paso County Sheriff's Office conducted a prostitution sting on Friday night, they probably weren't expecting to net a fellow officer. Their "decoy female prostitute" was too good for even a member of the Phoenix Police Department to catch on, however, and a Phoenix officer was arrested in its prostitution sting, The Arizona Republic reports.
Sheldon Czegledi, a 14-year veteran of the Phoenix force and a Central City Precinct patrol officer, allegedly solicited a prostitute, who turned out to be a female sheriff's deputy in disguise. The decoy was part of the department's crackdown on prostitution in El Paso.
Ironically, the Phoenix vice squad had just busted an alleged taxi prostitution ring earlier this month.
The naughty Phoenix officer reportedly drove up to the female deputy in front of a hotel parking lot and asked her for "sexual intercourse for a fee of $45," according to a Sheriff's Office report. He then dropped off a $5 deposit and said he would return. Deputies later stopped the Phoenix officer's car and arrested him on suspicion of soliciting prostitution.
Knowingly engaging in prostitution is typically a class 1 misdemeanor, unless the suspect has three or more offenses. Under Arizona law, first-time offenders convicted of prostituting or soliciting prostitution must serve a mandatory jail sentence of at least fifteen days.
The Phoenix Police Department stated that it will also conduct an administrative investigation into the Phoenix officer's actions in the prostitution sting, but soliciting prostitution is not automatically a firing offense, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos told The Republic. Regardless of the outcome, Czegledi will probably think twice before approaching another lady of the night, especially one carrying a badge.
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