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West Palm Beach police net 9 johns in prostitution sting

Posted at 4:47 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 05:19:46-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — West Palm Beach police arrested nine men in a prostitution sting in the north end of the city Tuesday night. The operation was part two of a sting that began weeks ago.

Nine men were arrested for allegedly trying to hire a prostitute near Dixie Highway and Butler Street and near the 3400 block of Broadway.

"I see it at 7 o'clock in the morning, I see it at midnight. I see it at 3, so it doesn't really matter the time," said Bob Frank, who says he has lived and worked in the Northwood area for 44 years.

Frank said enforcement has eased some of the issues, but they still exist.

"It puts a blight on the area. No one wants to see that when they are going out for a good time or shopping or going out to eat for a few drinks," added Frank.

West Palm Beach Police Sergeant David Lefont said there was a sweep three weeks ago when officers arrested prostitutes working in the area and Tuesday's sting was directed at the johns. He says community input is a big part of determining where the stings happen.

"Well, no one wants to come home and see solicitation in front of their home. They don't want their kids exposed to that type of environment," said Lefont.

With tens of thousands of people expected to travel to South Florida for Super Bowl 2020, law enforcement expects more stings to come.

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"We actually do more operations as we get closer to major events, as our hotels begin to fill up, as our tourists start to show up. We definitely add more enforcement especially to that type of crime," added Lefont.