Merced prostitution sting nets 7 arrests

Seven people were jailed recently during an undercover sting operation targeting prostitutes, the Merced Police Department reported.

Officers posed as potential customers or “johns” Friday afternoon in Merced, Capt. Tom Trindad said in a news release.

Five women were jailed on suspicion of prostitution, along with two men who solicited two undercover officers posing as prostitutes, police said.

Those arrested Friday were: Tiffany Necole Clark, 33, of Merced; Danicka Renee Wilson, 21, of Fresno; Raquel Zarate, 32, of Merced; Edna Renne Hollinquest, 26, of Merced; Kara Diona Shade, 21, of Fresno; Lonny Dewayne Teeter, 56, of Dos Palos; and Gilbert Cerna Canas, 45, of Merced.

The operation was conducted with the assistance of the Merced County Child Protection Agency and Merced County Mental Health. The two agencies provided information to the suspects on alternatives to prostitution, Trindad said in the news release.

Police ask anyone with any information regarding the incident to contact Officer Kalvin Haygood at (209) 385-6998, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. Individuals can send information via anonymous text message to police by dialing TIP411 (847411) and including the word ComVIP as the “keyword” in the text message.