LAKELAND, Fla. — A Polk County Sheriff's Office undercover human trafficking sting resulted in 100 arrests.
- 103 arrests in undercover human trafficking sting
- Both prostitutes and 'johns' among those arrested in sting
- Orlando doctor among those arrested.
According to Polk Sheriff Grady Judd, the weeklong sting focused on both prostitutes posting online advertisements as well as "johns" seeking female prostitutes online.
From Nov. 27 through Sunday, 103 suspects were taken into custody, with 56 of those advertising as prostitutes online.
Thirty of the arrests were those who solicited undercover detectives who posted ads posing as prostitutes. Eleven other arrests were made of those who derive proceeds from prostitution and six were taken into custody for drug charges and other offenses.
One of those arrested was a doctor from Orlando. Judd said the doctor offered to pay an undercover detective $100 for sex and was arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution.
"This dude was so excited to get there, he was still wearing his hospital scrubs when he arrived," Judd said.
The sheriff also highlighted the arrest of a reservist in the U.S. Navy.
Judd said one suspect was able to get away.
"We did our best to find him at night, in the neighborhood but he was able to escape us in the dark," Judd said.
Charges for those arrested include soliciting another for prostitution, deriving support from proceeds of prostitution, transporting to building for prostitution and using a communication device to commit a felony.
Detectives worked closely with One More Child and the Department of Children and Families during the operation.
During the operation, undercover detectives posted fictitious ads or profiles on various social media platforms, websites, and mobile phone applications, posing as prostitutes or those soliciting prostitutes.
Some of the detectives responded to profiles and online ads posted by prostitutes. Despite the repeated warnings and media coverage of past operations, several suspects responded to the ads and drove to the undisclosed undercover location.