Police Allege Merrimac Couple Ran Prostitution Ring

A Merrimac couple is facing charges after police there allege they ran a prostitution ring from their home.

According to Merrimac Police, Robert D. Jones, 32 and Marie Sue Shelley, 28, both of Merrimac, were arrested last weekend after a three-month investigation into quality of life concerns in their neighborhood. Shelley was charged with sexual conduct for a fee and keeping a noisy and disorderly house. Jones was charged with deriving support from prostitution, keeping a noisy and disorderly house, carrying a dangerous weapon and with being a fugitive from justice. He also had an outstanding warrant out of New Hampshire for possession of heroin, possession of Clonazepam, making false statements to police, and violation of probation. They were arraigned Monday in Newburyport District Court.

Merrimac Police applied for and received a search warrant for the home at 24 Nichols Street, Merrimac. With the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police, police set up an undercover operation, with an officer replying to an ad posted, allegedly by Shelley, on Craigslist.

During a meeting, Shelley allegedly offered to perform a sexual act on an undercover State Trooper for $100. Officers then arrested Shelley and Jones.

“Merrimac Police have been engaged in an ongoing investigation into the house since December 2014, which is owned by a relative of Jones and where Jonesand Shelley are known to reside,” a police spokesperson said. “The police department has noticed an increase in traffic and has fielded a number of tips regarding this home. Officers have also noted numerous vehicles and lone men coming and going from the house during the investigation, day and night.”

Investigators also observed Jones walking around the vehicles of Shelley’s alleged “johns,” checking for unlocked doors, while they were inside with Shelley, police said.