Two women accused of using Craigslist to peddle sex to NASCAR race fans were arrested in Fort Mill, according to police last week.
Authorities on Thursday, May 14, charged Victoria Ashley Marie Zambounis, 19, of Columbia and Tiffany Ann Nash, 20, of Florida with prostitution, according to Marvin Brown, commander of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit.
Zambounis also was charged with possession of marijuana, according to a report from the York County Sheriff's Office.
"They followed the NASCAR circuit," Brown said.
"They go from race to race with their laptop computers and Internet and solicit racetrack fans."
If convicted on the prostitution charges, each woman faces up to 30 days in jail, he said.
Around 9:50 p.m. May 14, an officer noticed the women at a Motel 6 at 127 Foothills Way off Carowinds Boulevard.
"They were outside behind the motel," Brown said. "The officer thought they were intoxicated and searched their room for possible drugs."
But according to Brown, during the search, authorities uncovered a small-scale prostitution ring.
"They both had laptop computers and they used them so that potential customers could contact them," via information they women posted on Craigslist, Brown said.
Police suspect that two other women at a nearby hotel also were involved.
"We were unable to locate them," Brown said.
Instead, authorities found a small amount of marijuana, worth about $25 on Zambounis, the report notes. Police also seized $448 from Nash and $640 for Zambounis, according to the report.
Last Thursday's arrests mark the second time in recent months that people linked with Craigslist were charged with prostitution in York County, Lt. BJ Kennedy of the county's drug unit said.
"Last October, we arrested seven people on prostitution-related charges," he said. "The seven arrested were straight off Craigslist."
But officials are working to stop the trend in York County, Brown said.
"It appears that the majority of prostitutes in York County are operating off Craigslist," he said. "We're stepping up our enforcement. We have some innovative plans. We will approach this in a different manner to make more of an impact and run prostitution out of York County."
Bond was set at $470 for Nash and $1,040 for Zambounis, who were both released from York County Detention Center last Friday night.