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Seven — including firefighter — arrested in Gary prostitution sting

Updated: October 4, 2012 2:19AM

A Gary firefighter was one of seven people arrested during a prostitution sweep Tuesday night in northwest Indiana by a narcotics-vice unit, officials said.

Marcus Sullivan, 37, of Merrillville, was charged with patronizing a prostitute. He was the only “customer” apprehended as plain-clothes detectives cruised areas in Gary in search of prostitutes.

Sullivan, a 15-year veteran of the fire department, was driving a city-owned utility truck when detectives saw him stop at 17th Avenue and Delaware Street about 9 p.m. Police watched as the driver spoke to a woman standing on the curb.

The woman joined the driver and police then followed the car to an ATM at Fifth Avenue and Adams Street. Police stopped the truck at 20th and Virginia.

Diondria Brown, 21, was arrested and charged with prostitution. She told police she asked Sullivan for $20 for oral sex, officials said.

Sullivan bonded out of jail a few hours after he was arrested.

Brown and five others, including two men posing as women, appeared in Gary City Court Wednesday. The defendants who pleaded not guilty are all set for trial Dec. 5 and were being held on $750 bail.

All six were tested for drugs and most showed cocaine in their systems, Judge Deidre Monroe observed.

The judge referred all six to the Aliveness Project for an HIV evaluation.

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