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Boston street worker arrested, charged with illegal gun possession

A Boston street worker, hired to steer people away from gang violence and crime, was arrested early Saturday morning after Boston police allegedly found him in a car with a prostitute, an unlicensed gun, and what appeared to be cocaine, police said.

Marcus Merritt, 35, had been hired by the Boston ­Foundation in 2009 as part of the foundation’s StreetSafe program, an ambitious, $20 million effort to target about 2,000 young criminals responsible for most of the crime in Boston.

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Merritt, who had not had any problems at work before his arrest Saturday, was fired over the weekend, said Ted McEnroe, a spokesman for the Boston Foundation, a philanthropic group that funds non-profits around the city. “StreetSafe has a zero tolerance policy for any kinds of inci­dents like this,” McEnroe said.

According to a police report of Merritt’s arrest, police saw Merritt’s 1998 Chevrolet parked on Auriga Street shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday.

John Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. ­
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