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219 Arrested in Florida Human Trafficking Sting

Many parts of Florida engage in regular sting operations. This is especially common for human trafficking crimes, which happen regularly in the state.

A recent sting operation in Polk County netted 219 arrests. The undercover operation started on September 19 and lasted for seven days. It led to 242 misdemeanor crimes and 44 felony charges for human trafficking.

The human trafficking sting, called “Operation Traffic Stop 2,” led to the arrests of a wide range of people from all walks of life. Disney workers, parents of young children, school workers, and illegal immigrants were just some one of the people arrested. A 30-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman faced the most severe charges.

In total, 35 of those arrested were in the United States illegally. There were 83 suspects charged for soliciting prostitution or traveling to meet someone for sex in exchange for money. Another 17 suspects were arrested for collecting money from prostitution or helping prostitutes conduct business.

Three Disney workers were arrested in the sting, including a custodian, security guard, and training coordinator. The athletic director of Vanguard School was arrested for allegedly soliciting a prostitute. The man, who used to coach youth football, is married with three children. Polk County Schools is disappointed in the man and is planning to fire him. The district claims that while the charges did not involve students, and the man was not on duty as a teacher at the time, teachers are held to a higher standard and this kind of conduct has no place in the school system.

There were some other shocking arrests. For example, there was a father who left behind his 1-year-old daughter to have sex. He told investigators that the family dog was watching the baby.

Another man brought his 15-year-old daughter to the area for her birthday. However, he left her in a motel room so that he could have sex somewhere else. Two women went to have sex, but took a 14-month-old child with them. One woman watched the child while the other had sex.

Several high-level executives at California-based companies were also arrested. One man whined that it’s not against the law to cheat on your wife. While this is true, the man paid money to cheat on his wife, which is considered prostitution under the law. Out of the 119 alleged prostitutes who were taken into police custody, at least 21 were possible human trafficking victims.

Contact a Legal Professional for Help

Human trafficking is very common in Florida. Sting operations happen all the time and they lead to hundreds of arrests.

Have you been arrested in a sting operation? Need help defending your case? If so, get help from a Florida minor sex offense lawyer from the Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit. We’re available 24/7 to ensure you get the advice you need for your unique case. To schedule a consultation, call (352) 505-1799 or fill out the online form.



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