WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office nabbed 124 people in what's being described as a six-day undercover investigation to combat a mix of prostitution, human trafficking and some alleged child sex predators.
CBS Sports reports golfer Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey was also among the people arrested. He faces a misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute.
Dubbed "Operation Santa's Naughty List," the array of people arrested face everything from prostitution charges and drug counts to a few accusations of trying to meet children for sex.
The sheriff's office worked with the State Attorney's Office, local police and anti-human trafficking groups as part of the sting operation.
"The primary purpose for these operations is to identify victims of human trafficking and those who prey on the victims, as well as the deviant child predators who stalk children online," Sheriff Grady Judd wrote in an email.
Law enforcement said they used online ads to arrange meetings between undercover detectives and people accused of crimes. The undercover location was in Polk County.
Detectives say there were seven women who came to the undercover location to "commit prostitution." However, the sheriff's office said these woman may have been trafficked.
Two of the women were taken to shelters and connected with anti-trafficking support and resources. The sheriff's office said each person accused of prostitution was given immediate access to anti-trafficking organizations.
Five men were accused of traveling to the location to sexually harm a child. Two other men who did not go to the location were arrested after detectives say they solicited who they thought were children online.
In total, 53 people were charged with prostitution, 46 were accused of seeking the services of a prostitute and seven men were accused of preying on children.
Judd said during a Wednesday news conference that a local pastor was charged with soliciting.
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