NE Phila. motel, target of online critics, is scene of drug, prostitution busts

Emanuel Banks (left), 22, and Christopher Powell, 30, were arrested.
Emanuel Banks (left), 22, and Christopher Powell, 30, were arrested.
Posted: March 19, 2013

ACCORDING TO online reviews of the Roosevelt Motor Inn in Northeast Philadelphia, the place is busted.

"If you like constant noise, doors slamming, hookers in the hallway, pot smell this place is for you," someone named philytraveler wrote on "[A]lso plan on not getting any sleep."

Last week, two men also were busted at the hotel - one for prostitution and the other for drugs - during a vice-squad raid that police said resulted from one guest taking gripes to authorities.

Police said that the department's City Wide Vice Unit received an anonymous tip on Wednesday about prostitution at the hotel, on Roosevelt Boulevard near Faunce Street in Rhawnhurst. Cops said the hotel has been the site of prior complaints about prostitution, assault and people with weapons.

Around 9:45 p.m. Friday, vice officers and FBI agents conducted a sting at the hotel and arrested Emanuel Banks, 22, of Philadelphia, for prostitution and Christopher Powell, 30, of Sharon Hill, for possession of barbiturates.

The hotel manager was not immediately available for comment, according to a receptionist.

On TripAdvisor, the Inn is ranked 69 out of 83 hotels that have been reviewed by visitors to the site. The first reviewer wrote: "One thing which made us very uncomfortable was that a lot of 'girls' were coming in and out all the time." Another guest wrote: "[M]y nephew opened up a drawer in the room, and what does he find??? about 10 needles and a vile of resin."

Other guests at the inn wrote of drug deals "gone wrong" in the hallways, stained sheets and noise.

Over at Google, the reviews are not much better. A reviewer who posted a year ago recounted a drug bust and "questionable characters."

Another wrote that the person at the front desk followed her back to her car and told her to remove her antennas because a man was known to steal them and use them to break into rooms.

That guest wrote that she was "assured" by front desk staff that the man was " 'ONLY A SEXUAL PREDATOR' (yes, that's a quote)."

According to the hotel's website, room rates are $78 on weeknights and $82 on weekends.

" @FarFarrAway

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