Street Crimes/Drug Vice Units Record Sixteen Arrests
On Thursday April 17Th, The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes and Drug / Vice Units wrapped up a two week anti-drug and prostitution operation in various portions of Putnam County. The joint operation resulted in 16 individuals charged with various drug and prostitution related crimes.
The majority of the arrests occurred between State Road 207 and Kane Road along the Highway 17 South Corridor as deputies targeted prostitution and drug crimes in the area. The operation concentrated in this area after it became apparent to deputies that prostitution and drug crimes were increasing along the busy Highway 17 corridor.
The operation netted 12 prostitution arrests, all of which occurred in East Palatka, after men approached an undercover female deputy and offered to pay her for various sexual favors. In all of the arrests, only one suspect offered any resistance. Eligio Mendoza pulled into the Siesta Motel after he solicited the undercover deputy for sexual favors. As the arrest team moved in, Mendoza accelerated and nearly struck one of the deputies with the vehicle. Still refusing to stop, a vehicle pursuit ensued south on Highway 17 South. The pursuit ended when Mendoza’s vehicle came to a stop at Highway 17 and Horse Landing Road. Mendoza then fought with the deputies and refused to allow the deputies to handcuff him. Mendoza is currently being held in the Putnam County Jail without bond pending a hold placed on him Immigration and Customs Enforcement.