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Twelve snared in prostitution sting

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Twelve men were arrested in a Friday-night prostitution sting along Old Dixie Highway, between Old Dixie Way and Holiday Boulevard, by the Clayton County Police Department.

Two female prostitutes were arrested in the same area the day before the sting operation, police said.

Clayton County Police spokeswoman Lt. Rebecca Brown said in recent years, the area, which is parallel to Tara Boulevard, has become plagued by prostitution.

"This is not the first time we have done a sting in the same area," Brown said.

Oscar Larios-Hernandez, 21; Lamar Desmond Brown, 24; Frank Donald Mitchell, 44; Jermaine A. Murphy, 35; Luis Alberto Rodriguez-Gomez, 21; Meliton Baltazar-Orocio, 28; Keith Sanders, 49; Antonio Hammell, 23; Durell Brittington, 23; Marcus Mitchell, 22, and Gustaud Villalva, 29, were arrested Friday and charged with soliciting sex from undercover officers, police said.

Loehne Scott, 40, was arrested for trying to warn others about the sting, as well as for cocaine and marijuana possession, police said.

Brown said all of the arrests took place without incident.

Villalva was wanted for having previously failed to appear in court for a series of February 2007 traffic violations, which included having an expired license plate tag, no license, and not wearing a seat belt.

Tonya Merritt, 41, and Jonquil Carter, 24, were arrested on Thursday along Old Dixie Highway for prostitution, police said.

According to Brown, a number of complaints from local business owners and residents prompted the sting.

"People are using their parking lot to do their business in the car," she said. "Who with a legitimate business wants prostitutes walking around their business and the activity it will bring? If you do nothing about your neighborhood and these type of things are going on, then it will only get worse."