HARRIS COUNTY, TX (KTRK) --Twelve men, including a former Houston Police officer, have been arrested as part of a prostitution sting operation in northwest Harris County.
The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office says all of them are now charged for solicitation. Constable Mark Hermann says deputies set up a sting operation after his office received a number of calls about hotel where prostitutes were believed to hang out.
"We have received complaints in the community from the Cypresswood area of street level prostitution going on there," said the Constable.
Earlier this month, Precinct 4 and Precinct 1 constable offices decided to work together and crack down on the prostitution. Over the past few weeks, they conducted underover stings in the area near Spring High school and nabbed the dozen men.
The arrests and charges sent shock waves through the small I-45 diner, which sits across the street from the school.
"It's very disheartening with the school directly across the street to know this is going on in our neighborhood which we feel safe," said Jennifer Calhoun, whose family was eating lunch at the diner. "It's very uncomfortable to know this is going on right up the road from where we live."
Calhoun's husband even recognized one of the suspects as a mechanic he worked with years ago.
In addition, Matthias Elias Dornellien, one of those arrested, was a Houston police officer. He is currently on probation for theft by a public servant, and was sentenced to five years in 2011. Investigators say Dornellian allegedly had his four-year-old daughter in the car when he solicited. Eyewitness News tried to contact him, but the former police officer did not open the door.
Here's a look at the other men charged in the sting operation:
Christopher Cigar, 21
Marquis A. Banks, 34,
Vladimir Andres Cuervo-Castillo, 37
Alejandro Arenas Puebla, 38
Diego Lazalde Hernandez, 42
Manuel Arenas Puebla, 46
Rufus Mackey, 49
Gregory Mark Cater, 48
Todd Michael Margolen, 50
Matthias Elias Dornellien, 30
Jeffrey Scott Sciba, 26,
Donald Bruce Austin, 55,