Modesto sting operation nets 26 suspected 'Johns'

January 10, 2011 

A “John” sting in Modesto led to the arrests of 26 men, authorities said.

On Friday, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, using female deputies dressed in plainclothes as decoys, spent 10 hours at the California Inn at 1130 S. 9th Street.

The men were arrested after paying the decoys money for sexual favors, according to Deputy Luke Schwartz, a sheriff’s spokesman.

The arrests were made without incident and no contraband — drugs, burglary tools, weapons, etc. — was found, Schwartz said. He said none of those booked had outstanding warrants.

“It goes to show that that area of Ninth Street is not exclusive to the criminal element,” he said. “People from all walks of life can go down that part of Ninth Street and find a prostitute.”

He would not divulge how the operation worked.

In April, deputies arrested seven women on suspicion of intending to commit prostitution at the same motel.

In that operation, deputies watched as various women flagged down cars. After watching the women and men go into the motel room, they would knock on the door and arrest the woman.

Schwartz said Friday’s sting, which went from 2 p.m. until midnight, took a lot of planning and personnel. Decoys had to be put in place, transportation to the jail had to be lined up and more. Twenty three vehicles were towed from the inn’s parking lot.

The reason for the operation? Cleaning up south Ninth Street, an area popular for its prostitution and well-known throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

Schwartz said there are various methods to get the word out.

Sometimes, he said, prostitutes come from out of town, set up shop at the inn and use the Internet to market their services. It’s not difficult for a customer, sitting in his car with his laptop, to find a nearby room number, Schwartz said.

“It’s problematic,” Schwartz said. “South Ninth Street is not the place to go if you’re a law-abiding citizen.”

Arrested were Gustavo Rodriguez, 23; Alex Miller, 39; Reynol Celestino, 19; Alfonso Cortes, 38; Lucio Simao, 44; Victor Perez, 28; Bobby Carrillo, 33; Armando Morales, 38; Jaziel Hernandez, 35; Jason De la Guardia, 33; Oscar Cruz, 25; Paramdeep Poonian, 25; Felipe Barraza, 43; Jesus Marin, 36; Hector Chavez, 40; Qasim Khan, 38; Hector Vargas, 32; Justo Covarrubias, 40; Joel Delgado, 43; Roberto Campos, 42; Armando Jimenez, 48; Jose Garcia, 32; Steven Sigala, 52; Alex Lopez, 37; and John Plazola, 43.

Each was taken to the Stanislaus County Jail, booked on the prostitution charge and held in lieu of $1,000 in bail.

Video report from FOX40

 

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