The owner of Boardman’s Lost Valley Farm mega-dairy was among 10 people police arrested in a Tri-Cities prostitution sting.

Greg te Velde, 59, of Tipton, California, faces the misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute as well as methamphetamine possession, according to information from the website for the Benton County Jail, Kennewick. He went into the jail on the charges at 1:36 a.m. on Aug. 19 and is free on bail.

A cellphone for te Velde would not accept messages. Travis Love, general manager with Lost Valley Farm, said in a written statement “we take these allegations seriously. It is our policy to not comment on personnel matters, pending court proceedings.”

Washington newspapers reported Richland police teamed up with Kennewick police and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office to run the undercover operation Aug. 17-18 in Richland that netted six men and four women for prostitution. An undercover female officer solicited the men, and an undercover male officer solicited the women.

Te Velde is also a defendant in a $1.4 million lawsuit. Laser Land Leveling Inc., of Nampa, Idaho, filed the complaint in June in Morrow County against te Velde and four companies for failing to pay for construction work.

And an Oregon State Police trooper on May 23 in Hood River County gave te Velde a ticket for careless driving contributing to an accident. Circuit Court records show a judge convicted him on the offense on July 24. He has yet to pay the $450 penalty.

Richland police Lt. Chris Lee did not return a call by deadline Wednesday.

The sting also caught Mark Allen Phillips of Elgin. Phillips said he didn’t want to comment.

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Contact Phil Wright at pwright@eastoregonian.com or 541-966-0833.

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