Four men were arrested in an undercover counter-prostitution operation, according to arrest reports from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
The sting happened on Friday, April 29, according to arrest reports. The following men were arrested:
Devon Brown, 34, of Palatka was arrested for soliciting for prostitution — first violation and resisting an officer without violence.
Manuel Moncada, 57, of East Palatka was arrested for soliciting for prostitution — first violation and driving with a suspended/revoked license.
Marlon Melgar Ramirez, 29, of East Palatka, was arrested for soliciting for prostitution — first violation.
Miguel Ojeda-Velazquez, 48, was arrested for soliciting for prostitution — first violation.
Undercover officers walked up and down sidewalks at various locations in Palatka and East Palatka. The undercover officers would notify deputies if there were any solicitors and then “direct the solicitors to a pre-determined location where a takedown team would then be utilized to take the suspect into custody,” according to the arrest report.
Brown told an undercover officer, “I want to have a good time,” and agreed to pay $25 for sexual favors, the arrest report said. The undercover officer told Brown to walk to the back of Spin City Laundry.
Deputies then pulled up and told Brown to get on the ground and show his hands. He did not comply, so deputies took him down in a “modified takedown” and deployed a Taser stun gun on him. They were then able to take him into custody. He continued to ask “what did I do?”
Ojeda-Velazquez told an undercover officer he wanted sexual favors, but wanted to clean his private area first and offered to pay $10, the report said.
The undercover officer told Ojeda-Velazquez to go behind the Save-A-Lot store, where deputies took him into custody.
Ojeda-Velazquez had two counterfeit $20 bills in his possession, the report said.
Moncada and Melgar Ramirez were in a Ford F-150 truck when Moncada, who was driving, waved the undercover officers over. Both men offered $25 for sexual favors, the report said.
The undercover officers told Moncada to pull over to the side of the road at Santa Barbara Road. Deputies then arrived and removed the men from the truck. Moncada “did not comply with verbal commands and had to be placed on the ground to be successfully secured,” the report said.
Deputies also determined that Moncada’s license was not valid.
All the men were booked into the Putnam County Jail. Moncada’s bond was set at $1,500; Melgar Ramirez’s bond was set at $500; Ojeda-Velazquez’s bond was set at $1,500; and Brown’s bond was set at $1,000.
PHOTO GALLERY: 4 men arrested in prostitution sting in Putnam County