TEN ARRESTED IN MERCED PROSTITUTION STING

Arrested Persons: Jerry Vargas (03-18-73), Kou Thao (06-17-86), Lue Moua (05-05-77), Mark Mendez (06-06-89, Charlie Fryar (09-05-70), Hector Acosta-Pacheco (10-02-92) Thai Yang (09-24-93), Eric Cervantes (09-28-78), Eduardo Ochoa (12-27-65), and Mariano Merida-Carrasco (01-17-77).

On March 22nd, 2018 Officers of the Merced Police Department DART and GVSU Team conducted undercover operations targeting those involved in Prostitution. The operation focused on arresting people who engage in prostitution by purchasing sex acts through online advertisements. The Merced Police Department DART Team with the assistance of the MPD GVSU (Gang Violence Suppression Unit) posted online advertisements on known commercial sex web sites.

When contacted through the number posted online, officers negotiated to perform sex acts for money and arrested the subjects when they arrived to engage in prostitution.

Officers arrested ten men for solicitation of prostitution and all were given citations for the violations and released.

Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding these cases to contact Officer Jenkins at (209) 385-7773, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.

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