Volusia task force arrests 7 in backpage.com prostitution sting


DELTONA, Fla. – Six women and one man were arrested this week on in a sting targeting escort services listed on backpage.com, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Narcotics agents with Deltona Narcotics Enforcement Team and the West Volusia narcotics task force went undercover on Nov. 8 and 9, posing as customers and contacting women on backpage.com. Federal agents with Homeland Security also were part of the sting operation.

Backpage.com is a classified website often used for escort services and sometimes prostitution, according to authorities.

Task force agents agreed to meet the women at a Deltona hotel. Five women were arrested after agreeing to sex for money: Jodie Melendez, 41; Christina Mills, 34; Brianne Mitchell, 30; Katelyn Sawyer, 23; and Yanet Serrano, 26.

Heather Brown, 33, was charged with violating probation. She came to the hotel but left before a transaction was negotiated. Detectives learned she was violating house arrest by coming to the hotel and arrested her.

Miguel Ruiz Jr., 33, was arrested and charged with transporting a person for the purpose of prostitution and drug possession.

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