During the course of making an arrest on Saturday, the Merced Police Department uncovered a prostitution ring that is suspected to be gang-related.
About 4 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle in the Motel 6 parking lot at V and 15th streets, according to police. When asked for his license, the driver sped off, throwing a loaded gun from the car.
Just before the car drove off, a person was seen running into a motel room, according to police. Officers formed a perimeter around the room.
Police then secured a warrant and went inside, finding Raul Flores and a 15-year-old girl. They also found a laptop with what police are calling "evidence of a prostitution ring."
Later that day, two juvenile girls were found at another location and detained in connection with the case, according to police.
Detectives from the major crimes unit have been called in to assist in the investigation.
All the suspects involved are from Fresno, according to police. Some of the suspects are validated Fresno Bulldog gang members.
Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.