Prostitution and drug sting, 16 arrests

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- A two-week undercover drug and prostitution investigation led to 16 arrests, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

The 16 were charged with various prostitution and drug related crimes.

The operation netted 12 prostitution arrests after men approached an undercover female deputy and offered to pay for various sexual favors. All prostitution arrests occurred in East Palatka.

Most of the arrests were between State Road 207 and Kane Road along the Highway 17 South Corridor. Of all 16 arrests, Eligio Mendoza is the only suspect who offered resistance.

Mendoza pulled into the Siesta Motel after he solicited the undercover deputy for sexual favors. After the arrest team moved in, Mendoza almost hit one of the deputies with his vehicle. He refused to stop and a police chase began south on Highway 17 South. The chase ended when Mendoza's vehicle stopped at Highway 17 and Horse Landing Road.

Officials said, Mendoza continued to resist by fighting the deputies and refusing to be handcuffed. Mendoza is in Putnam County Jail without bond.

This operation was led by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office Street Crimes and Drug/Vice Unit.


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