LAWRENCE — Detectives focused on a visible "gateway" area to the city as they ran undercover prostitution and drug investigations during Monday's warm weather. 

Numerous arrests were made during the daylong "mini-stings" along Broadway and neighboring streets, police said.

And Police Chief Roy Vasque said as the weather warms up expect such operations to continue in high traffic areas. 

"For a lot of people, perception is reality and we want to change that. That is certainly not lost on us ... With the warmer weather coming we want to send a reminder that we'll be out in full force," Vasque said. 

Complaints about drug dealing and prostitution on Broadway and the surrounding areas are a complaint he hears routinely from residents and business people and at neighborhood meetings, he said. 

The first investigation, which started around 10 a.m. Monday, focused specifically on the north side of Broadway (Route 28) "that is often traveled by out of city and state" drivers, wrote Detective Rhadames Gonzalez in a report. 

"Our efforts were to identify suspected parties looking to solicit this behavior as well as identify those who display behaviors associated with prostitution," he wrote. 

Detectives were allegedly watching a woman working in the vicinity of Broadway and Cross streets as she "fixated" to cars in traffic, "signaled" to a driver in traffic and then got into the passenger's side of the car.

Police then stopped the car in the 500 block of Haverhill Street and questioned the driver who admitted picking up the woman "with the intention of soliciting sex for a fee," according to the report.

Maria Cerullo, 46, of 11 Berkeley St., Lawrence was arrested and charged with sexual conduct for a free. Richard Dunn, 60, of 88 Farrwood Ave., North Andover, was arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute, according to police records.

Later, Detective Thomas Cuddy, working undercover, was waved down by a woman at the intersection of Broadway and Haverhill Street. The woman, Sherry Silvester, 45, told Cuddy she'd perform a sex act on him for $40. according to police records.

Silvester was arrested and charged with providing sexual conduct for a fee, according to police records.

Arlete Julien, 38, of 187 Chestnut St., Lawrence was also arrested and charged with providing sexual conduct for a fee and an outstanding warrant during the investigation, police said. 

Detectives said they saw Julien get into a white work truck where they say she told the driver she would engage in sex for $40. Police issued a summons to the van driver to appear in court on a charge of soliciting sex for a fee, according to Gonzalez's report. 

Also on Monday, detectives worked near West Street Park and Kennedy Park, which is located near Central Catholic High School. Both areas have seen increased complaints about drug activity and prostitution, according to a report by Detective David Moynihan. 

A woman was hanging out in the Kennedy Park area for two hours, police said. Around 1:15 p.m., detectives saw her with two other females walking towards a path at the back of the park, according to the report. 

They were arrested after police allegedly watched the trio using drugs illegally. 

Clarice Holiday, 40, of Tewksbury, was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a class A substance (heroin). Emily McCann, 43, of 525 Essex St., Lawrence was arrested and charged on numerous outstanding warrants, according to police records. 

Police went to place a third woman, age 28, under arrest for illegal possession of a class A substance (heroin) but she was taken to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment of a skin infection known as MRSA. Detectives said she would be issued a summons to appear in court instead. 

Later, police learned the woman would need further medical care because she had made suicidal statements, according to Moynihan's report. 

Moynihan noted in his report the walking path where the women were found Monday "runs into (the) Central Catholic High School parking lot." 

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.