The Polk Sheriff's Office and several other Polk law agencies have arrested 277 people in a week-long prostitution sting.
- 'Operation No Tricks No Treats' sees 277 arrests
- Sheriff Grady Judd said some were victims of human trafficking
- The Porch Light hopes to help women considered victims
The men and women are accused of being Johns, pimps and prostitutes. The sting was conducted at two locations and was called "Operation No Tricks No Treats."
Among those snared in the sting was Marine Colonel Kevin Scott, stationed at MacDill Air Force Base while working with U.S. Central Command.
Sheriff Grady Judd said five of the women arrested on prostitution charges are considered to be victims of human trafficking. He said the pimps were forcing them to commit prostitution. In some cases, that was to feed a drug habit.
He related the account of one prostitute about her pimp. "He brings me to the hotel. I turn the trick and this trick was supposed to be for $400. Then he immediately takes the money from me. I see zero money from the operation," said Judd.
The Lakeland based anti-human trafficking organization called The Porch Light went behind the scenes during the sting. It hopes to help the women considered to be victims.
"It's eye opening every single time," said The Porch Light's Jodi Bennett. "I don't think you quite get used to it and I am not sure I would ever want to."
Those arrested in the sting included doctors and pharmacists, a teacher and even a Polk Sheriff's sergeant who resigned after he was charged.