2 men arrested on accusations of prostitution at Ferndale motel

Undercover officer makes arrest of 2 Detroit men accused of soliciting transsexual escorts through ad on Backpage.com

FERNDALE, Mich. - Two men have been arrested on accusations of prostitution at a Ferndale motel.

Police said officers stopped a man Tuesday evening who they suspected was up to illegal activity at the Motorama Motel on Eight Mile Road. Police said he admitted he was responding to an online ad from Backpage.com for transsexual escorts.

An undercover officer responded to the same ad and arranged a meeting.

During the meeting at one of the motel's room, 19-year-old Artel Lavontre Martin and 28-year-old William Rodney Patterson were arrested.

Police said they had other warrants out for their arrest and that marijuana was also found in the room.

The two Detroit men are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

About Backpage.com

Backpage.com, like craigslist.com, is an Internet bulletin board with listings for everything from child care to auto parts and forums on numerous topics. Craigslist.com took down its "adult services" section after several widely publicized cases, including the so-called "Craigslist Killer" case, in which Phillip Markoff was charged with the armed robbery and murder of a masseuse he had hired through the web site, and the armed robbery of two other women he also found through the site. Markoff committed suicide in jail awaiting trial.

Backpage.com also linked to deaths of 4 women

The bodies of Demesha Hunt and Renisha Landers were found Dec. 19 in a car trunk in Detroit. Six days later, the bodies of Natasha Curtis and Vernithea McCrary were found in a burning car. Three of the women had placed ads for escorts on Backpage.com.

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