HPD Vice, Tac Team Arrest 10 in Prostitution Operation

March 12, 2008 - Investigators in the Houston Police Department Vice Division arrested 10 individuals on Tuesday (March 11) who attempted to pick up undercover Houston police officers posing as prostitutes in the 2500 block of Gregg at Liberty on the city’s northeast side.

Two of the 10 suspects were also charged with drug possession.

Acting on numerous complaints from citizens and businesses, vice officers were assisted by the Criminal Intelligence Division and the Northeast Patrol Division Tac Team in an effort to rid the area of prostitutes and “johns” who pick them up in an exchange of money for sexual activity.

“The message we are sending is clear,” said Vice Division Captain G.D. Yorek. “We want the individuals who are keeping these prostitutes in business to be held accountable for allowing that type of behavior to exist in our streets and neighborhoods,” Yorek said.

The following 10 suspects were arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution:

  • Jose Viramontes (H/m, DOB: 3-23-69)
  • Marcella Sosa (H/m, DOB: 2-30-69)
  • Rene Melendez (H/m, DOB: 5-31-64)
  • Kenneth Scott (b/m, DOB: 3-8-50)
  • Erick Boliver (b/m, DOB: 11-18-79)
  • Gerbeth Portillo (H/m, DOB: 6-21-71)
  • Juvenile male, 16
  • Furlow Zachary (b/m, DOB: 5-7-59). Charged with possession of a controlled substance.
  • Jazmine Compton (b/f, DOB: 4-5-86)
  • Sherlie Caraway (b/f, DOB: 9-23-63). Charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Undercover female police officers were used in the operation outside the De Lux Hotel. In each instance, the suspect approached the female offering money in exchange for sexual favors. The suspects were then taken into custody without incident.

At 1:30 p.m. TODAY (Wednesday, Mar. 12), an investigator in the Vice Division will be available to answer questions in the operation in the media briefing room on the first floor of HPD Headquarters at 1200 Travis. Photos of the suspects will be available for copying at that time.


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.