Neighbor John Batres said he's seen Johns and prostitutes on this stretch of North Main Street since he was a kid and he was not surprised by Thursday's news.
In October 2011, a female decoy posed as a prostitute on Kern Street and Roosevelt Street, and in just a couple hours, 12 men approached her. "The trainees had a very successful night and picked up a total of 12 prostitutes," Sgt. Matt Maldonado said. "Five of the prostitutes were male transvestites, the rest were actually females."A similar bust on John Street happened in December 2012 when eight people were arrested.
Several prostitution busts have happened in Salinas in recent years.
Cmdr. Henry Gomez said police alerted Maharaj about the problem and asked him to end the prostitution that was happening in his hotels. But Maharaj did not cooperate with police.
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Some people who drove into the motel's parking lot and were approached by uniformed police officers "freely admitted" they were there looking for prostitutes, Gomez said.
For the past several months, the Salinas Police Department received numerous complaints of prostitution activity at the Rodeo Inn and Star Motel at 1149 N. Vans Tan Main St.
"It's been getting worse not better," Gomez said. "We have recovered runaways there."
an officer was parked nearby monitoring activity. In that brief period of time, he noticed thirteen cars passing through the parking lot. Occupants of several of vehicles confirmed to police they were there for the purpose of prostitution," Gomez said.
Navneet "Nav" Maharaj, 34, owns the motels, which are directly across the street Vans Sk8 Mid Black
from the Salinas Sports Complex rodeo grounds.
Salinas police said they were aware that prostitution has been occurring at the motels for months.
"Not only had he been made aware of the problem, he allowed it Skechers Basketball Shoes Mens
to continue unabated," Gomez said.
Maharaj was cited for maintaining a house of prostitution. Salinas police said they built a criminal case against the motel owner over the past few months, however, they have not yet arrested him.
Star Motel are 'houses of prostitution'
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