154 arrested in Polk County sex sting

More than 150 people were arrested as part of a six-day sting in Polk County. Sheriff Grady Judd said the sting was to help detectives identify victims of human trafficking in prostitution. The operation started on May 14 and resulted in 154 arrests. In a news release, the sheriff's office said a 17-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman had been identified as possible victims of human trafficking. A 17-year-old boy is also being considered a victim of human trafficking. The sheriff's office said it worked with local law enforcement in Lakeland, Winter Haven and Haines City for "Operation No Spring Fling." Judd said the suspects range in age from 17 to 69 years old and the charges include soliciting prostitution, procuring prostitution, traveling to meet a minor for sex and child pornography. Of the suspects arrested: 69 were accused of offering sex acts in exchange for money 75 were "johns," or those who solicited to pay for prostitution 8 were arrested for deriving proceeds from prostitution 2 were arrested for traveling to meet a minor for sex 30 are married 5 are in the country illegally The sheriff's office said among the 154 suspects, there were 567 previous felony charges and 695 previous misdemeanor charges.
Published: 12:28 PM EDT May 21, 2019
Updated: 12:27 PM EDT May 21, 2019