Oakland Pastor Among Those Arrested During Prostitution Sting

AP, Sept. 25

OAKLAND, Calif.—A local pastor was among 68 people arrested in a prostitution sting by Oakland police this week.

The Rev. Craig Ward, 40, of the Brookins African Methodist Episcopal Church, flagged over a female undercover officer to his church-issued BMW just after 10:30 p.m. Thursday and tried negotiating a $20 oral sex act, police said.

“It was blatant,” said Officer Mark Turpin, of the Oakland police vice squad. “He wasn’t there trying to save anybody.”

It was Ward’s third arrest for soliciting a prostitute. He was convicted of the crime in 2002 and again last year in Oakland, according to police. Ward also served four years in prison for a 1997 burglary and returned later for carrying a weapon in his car, police said.

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