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2 men face felony charges in Costa Mesa prostitution case

Two Fresno men arrested last week at a Costa Mesa motel have been charged with prostitution-related crimes, including allegations that one of them tried to traffic an underage teenage girl, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

The night of June 3, Donald Phelps, 23, and Marice Curry, 25, were parked outside a Motel 6 at 1441 Gisler Ave., where authorities allege they were trying to solicit buyers for sex acts by the teenager, according to authorities.

The area is known for prostitution, the district attorney’s office said in a news release.

Shortly before midnight, police approached a woman who they suspected was working as a prostitute for the two men. Soon after, officers approached the car, according to Costa Mesa police.

Phelps and Curry were arrested on suspicion of pimping, pandering and conspiracy.

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This week, the district attorney’s office announced that Curry had been charged with one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor, attempted pimping of a minor, pandering with a minor over 16 years old by procuring, pimping and pandering.

He could face up to 13 years and four months in prison if convicted.

Phelps was charged with one felony count each of pimping and pandering and could face up to six years in prison if convicted, according to the district attorney’s office.

Both men pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court.

Each is being held with bail set at $100,000, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Jeremiah Dobruck, jeremiah.dobruck2@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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