Santa Nella, CA – On March 14, 2019 at approximately 7:00 p.m., the Merced County Sheriff Tactical and Reconnaissance (STAR) Team along with Merced Police Department’s Disruptive Area Response Team (DART) and Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GSVU) conducted a prostitution/sex trafficking sting operation.
The operation took place at a motel in the Santa Nella area. STAR Team investigators worked with DART members in advance to make arrangements with the suspects through online dating sites and other forums used for the sex trade.
During this operation, two 18-year-old females were taken to the motel by their pimps after sex acts were negotiated over the phone. Once they arrived at the motel, they were met by investigators who took them into custody without incident.
One of the pimps was found to be in possession of a loaded Glock 17 handgun that had a 30 round extended magazine. In total, six people were arrested during the operation, and all were taken into custody without incident.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Merced Police Department DART members and GSVU for their valuable contribution to this investigation.
The teamwork between Merced County agencies is proof that working together benefits our entire community. We would also like to thank the Valley Crisis Center for assisting with this operation and sending an advocate with the law enforcement agencies.
(Merced Sheriffs Press Release)