The former director of the history and art museums of El Paso was arrested after being accused of attempting to solicit a prostitute as part of an undercover operation by law enforcement, reported indicated officials.
Vladimir Alexey Von Tsurikov, 50, began communicating online with an undercover agent posing as a woman, officials from the El Paso Police Department said.
He offered to pay for sex with the woman, police said.
Tsurikov and the undercover officer agreed to meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the 7100 block of Gateway East Boulevard, officials said.
He met an undercover agent at the scene and discussed “services” to be provided, officials said. Tsurikov paid the undercover agent $ 80.
Tsurikov was subsequently arrested on suspicion of prostitution.
He was incarcerated in the El Paso County Jail on $ 500 bond. According to prison records, Tsurikov posted bail on Wednesday.
The undercover investigation was conducted by the El Paso Police Department’s Vices Unit, Texas Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Investigations.
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Tsurikov was director of the El Paso History Museum and Acting Director of the El Paso Art Museum.
After announcing his arrest, the city of El Paso released a statement saying, “The city does not publicly comment on personnel matters. Mr. von Tsurikov is no longer an employee of the city of El Paso.
He was appointed Head of the El Paso History Museum in August 2018. He was appointed Acting Director of the El Paso Art Museum in August 2019.
He was still listed as director of both museums on their websites Thursday afternoon.
According to his biography on the El Paso Art Museum website, Tsurikov worked as the director and chairman of the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also previously worked as director and curator of the Foundation of the Russian History Museum in New York.
Aaron Martinez can be reached at 915-546-6249; email@example.com; @AMartinezEPT on Twitter.