Thursday, June 2, 2022

Minersville Man and Woman Arrested at Hotel in Poconos During Prostitution Sting

A man and woman from Minersville were arrested in Monroe County on prostitution, firearm, and drug charges.
According to the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 Detectives from the County District Attorney’s Office, Criminal Investigations Division, conducted an undercover prostitution sting at a hotel located in Mount Pocono Borough. As a result, Candace Pickering, 49, and Leonard Chistakoff, 79, both of Minersville, PA were arrested and charged.

Undercover officers responded to an advertisement for prostitution where the female boasted about her ability to perform bbbj (bare back blow jobs). An arrangement was made by an undercover officer to pay the woman $300 for sex at a Pocono Hotel. The woman told the undercover officer she was on her way.

This investigation was led by Detective Kim Lippincott and included other investigators from the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney, the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department, and the Stroud Area Regional Police Department. Surveillance was established at the hotel and awaited the woman’s arrival.

When the woman arrived, investigators learned that she was traveling with a male, later identified as Leonard Chistakoff. The woman, Candace Pickering, went to the hotel room and met with the undercover officer who paid her $300. After some brief conversation, Pickering was taken into custody in the hotel room, while investigators took Chistakoff into custody in the parking lot.

Pickering told investigators after being read her Miranda rights that she came to the hotel to engage in prostitution, referring to herself as an escort. Chistakoff stated that he came along for the ride in case anything bad happened, and that his friend, Pickering, was meeting someone to have some fun.

A search incident to arrest of Pickering revealed that she was in possession of a taser, which is a prohibited offensive weapon, a small amount of marijuana, a small amount of methamphetamine, and a crack pipe. Search of Chistakoff’s vehicle revealed that where he was sitting, he had a loaded 9mm Ruger handgun in the door. Chistakoff does not have a concealed carry permit. Also, in Chistakoff’s vehicle, investigators located a small amount of marijuana and smoking devices.

Both Pickering and Chistakoff were arrested and taken to Monroe County Central Booking for fingerprints and photographs. They will both appear at a later date before the MDJ Phillip Riley.

These arrests are part of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office’s efforts to combat human trafficking in the Poconos.