WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Eighty people were charged with crimes in Polk County over the weekend after an online undercover operation targeting prostitution.
From December 12 through 14, Polk County Sheriff's detectives conducted an undercover online vice operation called Operation Naughty, Not Nice. http://bit.ly/1gCbDaA
Charges on the suspects range from soliciting for prostitution, soliciting another to commit a lewd act, deriving support/proceeds from prostitution, and aiding/abetting prostitution.
During a news conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the arrests include a 16-year-old girl whom detectives believe is the victim of human trafficking, and the 20-year-old man who drove her to the location, a Florida Department of Corrections Probation Officer; a 50-year-old suspect who has been arrested by PCSO twice before during the same type of operation, an Altamonte Springs attorney, a porn star and a bank manager from Palm Beach Gardens.
"It's a wonderful Christmas present for us to deliver to these folks a trip to the county jail for violating the law," Judd said.
Deputies said around two-thirds of the 80 arrested have criminal histories, and 16 of those arrested are receiving food stamps or SNAP benefits.
"I don't know about you, but it infuriates me," Judd said.
Nine of the "johns" told deputies that they were married and one was engaged to be married. Five of the prostitutes told deputies they were married.
In addition, one man drove from St. Petersburg with whips and bondage paraphernalia.
The wptv.com web team contributed to this report