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Merrimack is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, with a population of roughly 27,000. The town is composed of four villages: Merrimack Village, Thorntons Ferry, Reeds Ferry, and South Merrimack. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented in the city. For example, in September, 2013, investigators in Merrimack began monitoring a business in a plaza on the DW Highway after they received a tip from police in New York City. The business was in a small suite in the Merrimack Village Mall and did not have a sign but was listed online as Asian Massage. During surveillance police saw several individuals, most of them men, going in and out of the business, staying for a short period of time and then leaving. New York investigators provided photos, a vehicle description and a Texas license plate number of a couple they said they had been tracking all over the country. Merrimack police said the online listing showed a $70 price, and one woman, who was 50 years old and based in Flushing, N.Y., was the only “worker.” Investigators said the couple was operating at least five sex spas in New York, Florida, Texas and New Hampshire, and an apartment complex on East Ridge Road in Merrimack was their home for the prior two months. They were held at the Hillsborough House of Corrections awaiting transport back to New York to face charges of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and money laundering.
Police have arrested at least one sex buyer in Merrimack. In February, 2021 a man who was accused of attempted murder in Concord 15 years previously faced numerous new charges after a multi-month investigation into prostitution and other charges in Merrimack for the manufacture of child sexual abuse images, possession of child sexual abuse images, endangering the “welfare of a child or incompetent,” and prostitution. The case began when the Merrimack Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau began working with the NH Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force about a possible prostitution case involving a child under 18. During the investigation it was discovered that the man had asked a person under the age of 18 to produce sexually explicit images via electronic communication. The juvenile sent the requested images, which were sexual in nature, through a social media application on their cell phone. He had also offered to provide the juvenile with a quantity of money for sexual services. Merrimack police drafted an arrest warrant and with the help of police in Salem, located the suspect and he was arrested and held on cash bail. The man subsequently posted bail and was released from Valley Street Jail. He had a long criminal history: in 2004 he was accused of slashing the throat of a long-time friend, another teenager while they were watching MTV. The attack, press reports and police stated at the time, was unprovoked. He was also previously accused of burglary and arson, breaking and entering, trespass, assault, and mischief in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as an extensive juvenile criminal history and times in facilities.
- Merrimack Police Department
- Criminal Investigations Bureau
- New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:
- https://patch.com/manchester-man-faces-child-sex-images-prostitution-charges (2019)
- https://manchesterinklink.com/arraignment-set-for-manchester-man-following-underage-prostitution-investigation/ (2021)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: