A major crackdown on prostitution nets more than 20 arrests in Merced.
This crackdown was part of a statewide operation known as “Reclaim and Rebuild”. From January 24th through January 26th 2019 officers with the Merced Police Department DART and GVSU Teams conducted undercover operations focused on targeting people who engage in human trafficking and prostitution.
The Merced Police Department says officers responded to and posted online advertisements on known commercial sex web sites.
When they were contacted online, officers negotiated sex acts for money and arrested people who arrived to to engage in acts of prostitution, police say.
The police department says the operation was supposed to wrap up Saturday, but several people continued to contact them.
“We came back over the weekend and left the ads posted up and still had men calling us. So officers responded to them and set up appointments,” said Sgt. Robert Solis.
More than 20 people were arrested for solicitation of prostitution. Law enforcement says two men were arrested for pimping and supervision of prostitution with one of the men also charged with human trafficking of a minor under the age of 18.
A 17 year old male juvenile was also arrested. As for the minor being victimized, officers say they were able to locate the rescued juvenile’s grandmother and reunited them.