Merced Prostitution Sting Nets Twelve Suspects - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Merced Prostitution Sting Nets Twelve Suspects

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By: Kyra Jenkins

A prostitution sting leads to a dozen people being arrested in Merced. 

The Merced Police Department received several complaints of prostitution and drug dealing near motels on the west end of town.

Undercover officers posed as both clients and prostitutes in the area of 16th and 'T' streets on Thursday. The sting resulted in twelve arrests within a five-hour period.

Officers say they quickly moved in and arrested offenders, but within minutes the undercover officers were being approached by new customers. 

Authorities say prostitution can be connected to other serious crimes such as robbery, assault, rape, and theft.

"It's something that we're going to have to continue to work on because it's not gonna just go away.  One of the things that we really want to concentrate on is hitting them again, and again, and again, we want to make it difficult for them to be here," said Matt Williams with Merced Police Department.

Officials plan on conducting more undercover sting operations in the near future, according to Williams.

Those arrested were; 26-year-old Javier Diaz from Winton for solicitation, 31-year-old Latanya Matthews from Merced for solicitation, 29-year-old Kevin Manchester from Merced for solicitation, 27-year-old Carlos Vasquez from Merced for solicitation, 24-year-old Dianisha Vinson of Fresno for solicitation, 22-year-old Tasha Vinson of Fresno for loitering for prostitution, Bernard Williams of Merced for parole violation, 37-year-old Israel Flores-Basabe from Merced for solicitation, 22-year-old Eddie Valencia from Merced for solicitation, 34-year-old Pedro Guiterrez-Aguirre from Merced for solicitation, 35-year-old Joe Flores of Merced for solicitation, and finally 20-year-old Carolyn Beasley of Fresno for loitering for prostitution and interfering with an officer.

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