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HANFORD — After conducting an undercover sting, the Hanford Police Department has arrested in separate incidents a woman on suspicion of prostitution and a man for allegedly trying to become a pimp, officials said.

On March 30, officials said Hanford detectives and Problem Oriented Policing (POP) team officers teamed up with agents from Alcoholic Beverage Control to conduct and undercover prostitution sting.

Officers said they set up a fake profile on an escort website and communicated with females and males who were looking to have sex for money.

Later, officers said they staged in a local hotel and invited the “would be” clients over for the sole purpose of prostitution.

Around 7 p.m., police said 57-year-old Charlotte Kay Palumbo from Fresno arrived at the hotel after communicating with undercover officers over text message to have sex for money.

Once Palumbo entered the hotel room, she was met by an undercover officer and continued to negotiate the price for the sexual acts, police said. Undercover officers in a nearby room then moved in and took Palumbo into custody on suspicion of prostitution.

During a search of Palumbo’s belongings, authorities said she was found to be in possession of narcotic paraphernalia and they learned she had two outstanding no-bail warrants out of Fresno County.

Officials said Palumbo was arrested and booked for the warrants, possession of drug paraphernalia and suspicion of prostitution.

Later that night around 10 p.m., undercover officers said they communicated with 37-year-old Paul Salas from Hanford over text messages.

Police said Salas originally was going to pay to have sex with the fictitious prostitute, but then offered to be a “pimp” for the prostitute. They said Salas negotiated a price per client and explained how he would take care of and get more clients for the undercover officer posing as a prostitute.

Salas offered to come to the hotel to smoke methamphetamine and talk about the business opportunity with the undercover officer, officials said.

Authorities said a deal was made and Salas arrived at the location and was detained by officers. He was booked into the Kings County Jail on suspicion of pimping/pandering.

This undercover operation was funded by the California Alcoholic Beverage Control GAP grant, which was awarded to the Hanford Police Department in June 2018.

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