- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - A Houston police officer was among 19 people who were arrested during an undercover prostitution sting, according to authorities.

Officer Tony James Sellers, a 20-year veteran of the force, was suspended with pay following his arrest, said Houston police officials.

Court records Saturday didn’t list an attorney for Sellers, who is free on $500 bond on a prostitution charge.

Sellers, 46, had been most recently assigned to the police department’s Northeast Patrol Division.

The two-day undercover operation happened earlier this week in northwestern Harris County. Undercover officers posed as men wanting to solicit sex for money from prostitutes. Undercover female officers also posed as prostitutes to catch men seeking to pay for sex.

Most of those who were arrested live in the area.

Harris County Pct. 4 Constable Mark Herman said operators of businesses in the area complained about prostitution being conducted in the open, near schools and day care centers.

“These types of crimes will not be tolerated out here,” he said.

Herman called the 19 arrests in just two days “a pretty high percentage” for this type of crime.

“These folks that want to come out here and solicit, you might want to think twice because it could be an undercover officer and we will arrest you. We will put you in jail,” he said.

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