Alleged Prostitutes Arrested in Lansdale Sting

Kristen Stephen, 29, of Lansdale, and Janet DeFrancesco, 34, of Lower Salford, were busted in an undercover operation that also uncovered heroin in an apartment. Also arrested was Robert DeFrancesco, 53, of Lansdale, who pleaded guilty to murder in 1985

Two women will be summoned by mail to face charges of prostitution in Lansdale Borough.

Also arrested was a York Avenue man convicted of first-degree murder in 1985.

Kristen Rachel Stephen, 29, of the 300 block of W. Main Street, Lansdale, and Janet Lee DeFrancesco, 34, of the 200 block of Danny Lane, Harleysville, were arrested in a prostitution sting conducted by Lansdale Police.

Stephen was found to have an active Montgomery County warrant from May 2012, police said. On June 13, 2011, Stephen was charged with depositing trash in the street, according to court records.

On June 13, DeFrancesco was released from custody without bail being set after District Judge Harold Borek ordered both to be summoned by mail, police said.

Stephen remained in custody and was taken to Montgomery County prison on the county warrant, police said

In late May 2012, Lansdale Police received information regarding a suspected prostitution ring operating out of an apartment on the 300 block of W. Main Street, Lansdale.

Police searched the Internet for escort advertisements in Lansdale and found seven advertisements using the name "Kelly Cruz," police said.

The ads featurd several pictures of a woman in lingerie and provided prospective customers with phone numbers to contact them, police said.

The investigating officer recognized the pictures in the ads to be Stephen, police said.

Stephen has had arrests and contacts with her before, police said.

A more recent advertisement listed both "Kelly" and "Lisa" as being available with a monetary donation suggested for an allotted time frame, police said.

"Lisa" was later identified as DeFrancesco, police said.

On June 12, surveillance was conducted on the apartment and officers allegedly observed Stephen direct an unknown male into the building, police said.

At 1:59 p.m. June 12, Lansdale Police and an undercover Pennsylvania State trooper contacted "Kelly" by phone, police said. An agreement was made to meet both women and an address on West Main Street was provided to the undercover trooper, police said.

Upon arrival at the address, the undercover trooper was provided with a second address a few doors away that Stephen soon emerged from, police said.

The trooper was led into an apartment and a call made by Stephen led to the arrival of DeFrancesco, police said.

Police said there was a discussion over money and services, and then money was exchanged. Both suspects were taken into custody.

Heroin, cocaine and marijuana; used hypodermic needles; copper wadding; pipes; burnt spoons and numerous wax baggies were found inside the apartment, police said. Ledgers and customer profile logs were also found, police said.

A third subject, Robert DeFrancesco, 53, of the 700 block of York Avenue, Lansdale, was also taken into custody. Police said there is no relation to Janet DeFrancesco.

Property belonging to Robert DeFrancesco was found in the apartment, including clothes and a cable bill in his name for the target address on West Main Street, police said.

DeFrancesco admitted to police that he sometimes stayed at the apartment and had an apartment key in his possession, police said.

DeFrancesco was charged June 13, 2012 with possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

A detainer was filed by Pennsylvania State Parole Board, police said. Borek ordered that Robert DeFrancesco be released without arraignment or set bail and be summoned by mail, police said. 

DeFrancesco remained in custody and was transported to the Montgomery County prison for violation of state parole, police said.

Robert DeFrancesco pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 1985 and was sentenced to 7 to 20 years in prison, according to court records.

Robert DeFrancesco was convicted for his role in the murder of Mark R. Sellers, 27, of 256 Oak Park Road in Hatfield Township on April 17, 1984.

In February 1985, Robert DeFrancesco had drug charges, including criminal attempt to manufacture, deliver or possess a controlled substance, quashed in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

In October 1999, Robert DeFrancesco pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in county common pleas court, according to court records.

Megan June 14, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I've left a message for Office Pelzer with the Lansdale Police Dept regarding a Town Watch. Per the Department's website, he is the Officer in charge of Crime Prevention. I am certain that there will be enough interest to start one, at least in the West Ward. Now is the time to take control of our town before it gets too far away from us. I will also ask Tony DiDomizio if there is anything he can do from a reporting perspective to survey an interest in a Town Watch. Anyone in?
Megan June 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Joe, I am right there with you. See my comment below. Let's do this.
Robert Willi June 14, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Good luck on the Town Watch. I tried to get people in my neighborhood involved a few years ago. They were all for it until they realized that they would have to be involved. They thought that others would just do it and they could just sit at home.
Citizen Q June 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM
You should see the line of junkies that go in and out of that house at 721 York...what a mess, right across the street from the school and playground. People need to stand-up and get involved and let the police klnow about these situations regardless of the location in the borough
Joe Citizen June 14, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Megan, Robert I think a TW is the only way to take our neighborhoods back. I’m in if one of our elected officials would like to back us, and take point to help organize it. I think it’s notable that Megan and Robert would try to organize it, but really it’s up to our borough to step up and make this happen. They can spend their time organizing events and social gatherings, but they can’t set out a plan for divisional town watch programs? Otherwise it’s going to be “hit and miss” with who’s doing what in what part of Lansdale. Then you could have a problem explaining yourself to police if you’re patrolling your neighborhood and get stopped. No thanks. And I get what you’re saying Robert. But people need to realize that it takes a village. . . This is the only way it’s going to work – get organized, get involved Any thought’s seated officials? Joe
Megan June 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Citizen Q, have you ever called the police on that address? If so, I commend you. If not, it's a shame that you would know about it and not inform the authorities. I for one did not know it was that property, although I walk by it almost every single day. If you know something, say something. That goes for all of us.
Megan June 14, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Joe, I was hoping Ofcr Pelzer would disseminate the general and organizational information we need. I wholeheartedly agree that we need the support and assistance from the PD and elected officials, and I recommend that you, and anyone else that is interested in a TW, call him as well. I will talk to Matt West this week (Ward III Borough Council President) and get his assistance. From the Lansdale PD Website: Townwatch Program This is a program comprised of a group of residents and/or business owners who are interested in making their neighborhood a safer and more secure place to live and work. Contact your neighbors to see if there is an interest in starting a local group. Officer David Pelzer is the Crime Prevention Officer and he can be reached at (215) 368-1801.
Citizen Q June 14, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Megan, Several Folks in the area have...They have been know to the police for sometime
Ant June 14, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Worse things have happened.
David Kratz June 14, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Town watch will not work in Lansdale. They had it and created more problems because of power struggle. It also puts you and your family in danger if you get involved in things that you shouldn't be in. Best thing is if you see or suspect anything call 911 so the police can check it out.
worldpeace2013 June 15, 2012 at 12:42 AM
lets not let our beautiful town go to waste ... Lansdale police are phenomenal! NORRISTOWN is so shitty ;/ ;/ poor druggies live there ;/ make rent more expensive lol more police out ;/ ugh DOES NOT ONE WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE NO MORE??? Y is this convicted felon whom killed someone allowed to live near a school???????
beanie June 15, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Concerned West Ward residents may want to consider joining forces at the upcoming Borough meeting next Wednesday to bring this issue into the light and try to get resolve
jason June 15, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Lansdale just sucks they really need to get rid of it I work at a local business and we see it all the time (WTF)
Citizen Q June 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Someone needs to explain to me how a convicted murderer and drug dealer gets nabbed in a room with hookers, heroin, coke, needles, and weed, and the judge orders him released and will get a summons in the mail......WTF on that one....
Megan June 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Really need to get rid of Lansdale?
Megan June 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM
The allegation a poster made here that he may be selling drugs out of his home is interesting - SINCE IT IS ACROSS THE STREET FROM AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Isn't there a law with steep prison time for selling in a school zone? But to your point Q, I haven't a clue. Part of the problem with these crooks not getting what they deserve is because the system is flawed. Your case in point.
Megan June 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I do like this idea. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to get residents to join forces?
Joe Citizen June 15, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Kartz I agree with your point on getting involved and having some possible repercussions come of it. That’s why a TW isn’t for everyone. I understand some people might feel intimidated by confrontation and that’s fine. I’m talking to the able bodied person who can stand up to the common punk and report on something taking place on their block to their neighbors house or property, car, daughter, son , etc. Take the initiative, take charge of where this is going and take your neighborhood back while you still can! Don’t buckle under the threat of some idiot with a knife that probably doesn’t know how to use it anyway. Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning. (Gorge S. Patton)
Ant June 15, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Rob lives on the 700 block of York Avenue....the stuff was operating out of the 300 block on Main Street. Also Rob was taken to county for parole violation and is not being summoned by mail.Learn to read people.The allegation about him selling drugs out of his home based on "junkies" going in and out is based on nothing. Trashy looking people hanging out at a house doesn't mean it is a drug operation.
Joe Citizen June 15, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Either way he’s not coming back and should lose his house hopefully by defaulting on his mortgage. Things have a way of taking care of themselves sometimes. Joe
Citizen Q June 15, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Ant...We can read...My question was why a Judge would make that decision based on the prior history...To be clear this has been going on at both places for sure....BTW Junkies do not "hang out" that come an go within a few minutes while the car is running....Hand to hand deals in plain site...Please......
Citizen Q June 15, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Yeah I only shot heroin at my summer home on Main St.......
KingPin June 17, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Lansdale has way more drugs an dealers then people think! It's a way of life deal with it or move out of lansdale. When someone gets pinched another person steps rite up to plate to make that dough. It's been here for years just rite under your noses' you just couldn't smell it. Wake up people an smell the coffee!
MommAJess June 18, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Trust me!! Lansdale is no where close to being as ghetto as Norristown. Your gonna find low class people in any area. There are a # of factors that play into how many. It's up to individuals to live their lives in a up-standing manner and to also protect and preserve their neighborhoods. If there is no involvement... There's no change! And I suppose it really easy to sit on your computer and make bunk comments... Everyone's got an opinion I suppose : /
MommAJess June 18, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I don't think opening up a line for harassment is very wise and could lead to legal action against you! I don't think the website should support posting a direct link to this woman's facebook page!! Even if her behavior is disgusting!!
ilovelansdale June 19, 2012 at 08:16 PM
i would say tho it will get better. Im 21 ans when i went to penndale there was fights every single day. jumpings happened all the time. Once I got to highschool most of the problem kids got kicked out and the others calmed down. Every year from what i have heard there are less and less fights and drugs in penndale.
West Ward June 22, 2012 at 03:23 AM
and it was the Parole Board that had to force the issue to get him to jail. Borek is clearly an idiot. Serving these folks a summons BY MAIL! Really! The PA knew this guy was bad news and the DJ turns his head? Shameful! Borek needs to go!
West Ward June 22, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Don't assume he's not coming back.
West Ward June 22, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Because, Borek clearly does not have the best interests of the community at heart. Releasing these types of criminals back where they can keep committing crime or abscond knowing that they will be summoned BY MAIL to appear at a later date. Does he think they are just going to sit around and wait for the postman? Borek unfortunately has 2 more years to his term. Remember this when it's time to vote for a District Justice. I think the Parole Agent that forced the issue and made sure he got locked up should be commended!
Countrygirl11 July 27, 2012 at 04:26 PM
..... all i want to know is why a low life like Robert DeFrancesco can walk the streets again as a freen man after taking someones life! Only in America can you take a life and not have to give yours. I know people will say "ohh dont you believe in second chances" and I say NO! look at where a second chance got Robert DeFrancesco.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something