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Operation Grand Slam: Human trafficking sting in Central Florida nets 128 arrests in 6 days

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jun 07, 2016

More than 120 people were arrested during a six-day undercover investigation targeting human trafficking in Central Florida.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday the operation targeted prostitutes posting online advertisements, “johns” seeking prostitutes in an online environment, “pimps” and others seeking to profit from prostitution and online predators seeking contact with children.

Investigators said the sting was conducted from May 31 to June 5.

Detectives said they posted fictitious ads and responded to ads posted on the website backpage.com.

With assistance from the Lakeland Police Department, 128 suspects were taken into custody in less than a week.

Here is a breakdown of the charges: 

  • 78 people accused of offering sex in exchange for money
  • 32 suspects accused of offering money in exchange for sex
  • 11 suspects accused of driving prostitutes to a location deriving proceeds from the activity 
  • Two suspects accompanied other suspects leading to their arrests
  • 4 suspects solicited undercover detectives, whom they believed to be 14-year-old children in sexual activity
  • One suspect was arrested for not having a valid driver’s license