Florida police arrested 277 people – including doctors, cops and pharmacists – during a week-long sting operation.
“Operation No Tricks, No Treats” began on October 10 and continued until October 15, according to a press release from Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
During the operation, undercover detectives and investigators from several law enforcement agencies posted fake ads on websites, social media sites, and phone apps posing as “prostitutes or soliciting”. sex workers ”.
Investigators reported that 209 of those arrested were charged with “soliciting undercover detectives”. the Orlando Sentinel reported that 51 others presented themselves as Internet prostitutes. The office said 17 other people were arrested for other offenses.
“This is the most we’ve ever stopped in the history of the Sheriff’s Office,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
One of the arrested men, Judd said, was a sergeant in his office. Sgt. Luis Diaz, who had been in the force for 17 years, resigned after the sting, FOX13 reported.
“We’re absolutely embarrassed,” Judd said. “We hold our own responsible. He screwed up and doesn’t work for the sheriff’s office anymore.
Judd identified some of the other arrested suspects as cancer surgeon, teacher, pediatrician, Air Force veteran, retired deputy sheriff, retired police officer, active colonel in the United States Marine Corps and several pharmacists. They are between 16 and 74 years old.
The suspects face 334 counts, including human trafficking and solicitation of another for prostitution.
The office said 215 people traveled to Polk County from other parts of Florida or traveled to the state from Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan. , Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. .
“We are committed to fighting human trafficking, arresting those who engage in prostitution and trying to identify victims of human trafficking,” Judd said. “It’s no secret. You have to stay out of Polk County if you’re going to commit a crime.”