Recent Prostitution Stings in Polk County, FL
Update: On March 16, 2022, Sheriff Grady Judd with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced that over 100 people were arrested during “Operation March Sadness 2.”
The undercover sting operation occurred over a six-day period.
The investigation focused on misdemeanor charges for soliciting a prostitute and offering to commit prostitution.
It appears that only four of these cases involved preying on children online and one involved human trafficking.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office conducts undercover string operations several times a year to target people accused of either offering to commit prostitution or soliciting another to commit prostitution.
The most recent sting operations are listed below.
Most of these sting operations involved posting ads or responding to ads on Backpage-type online message boards.
The undercover officers often target tourists in the Orlando area, Spanish-speaking men and women, or the LGBTQ community.
The suspects are sometimes lured to a house in Davenport, FL, just 1,000 feet from the border between Polk County and Orange County.
If you were arrested after a prostitution sting operation in Polk County, FL, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who defends clients charged with these offenses in the 10th Judicial Circuit at the courthouse in Bartow, FL.
We also represent clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area, including Hernando County, Pasco County, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County.
Call us today for a free consultation at (813) 250-0500.
“Operation March Sadness 2” – On March 16, 2022, Sheriff Grady Judd with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced that over 100 people were arrested during “Operation March Sadness 2.” The undercover sting operation occurred over a six-day investigation focused on soliciting a prostitute, offering to commit prostitution, child predators, and human trafficking. In addition to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, others involved in the sting operation included the Auburndale Police Department, the Haines City Police Department, the Lake Wales Police Department, and the Winter Haven Police Department.
“Operation Naughty Not Nice” – Announced on December 3, 2018, Polk County detectives arrested 103 suspects in prostitution and trafficking bust. The undercover sting operation lasted for six days. Undercover officers with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office relied on online and social media ads. Out of the 103 arrests made, 54 were for offering to commit prostitution, 29 were for soliciting a prostitute, 13 were for pandering or facilitation-type charge, and 7 involved drug or other charges.
“Operation No Tricks, No Treat” in October of 2017 – In a press release issued on October 17, 2017, by Brian Bruchey, the Public Information Officer with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, PCSO explained the results of ”Operation No Tricks, No Treats.” The prostitution sting operation occurred on Tuesday, October 10th, through Sunday, October 15th, 2017. During the investigation, 277 suspects were arrested. 209 of those arrests were for solicitation of prostitution, 51 of the arrest were for offering to commit prostitution, and 17 of the arrests were for those who derive proceeds from prostitution or other offenses. The sting operation resulted in a total of 334 charges including 36 felony charges and 298 misdemeanor charges.
“Operation March Sadness” in March of 2017 – In a press release issued on March 21, 2017, Carrie Eleazer, Media Contact, announced the results of six-day-long prostitution investigation from Tuesday, March 14th through Sunday, March 20th, 2017. The investigation resulted in the arrest of 104 suspects. Although the vast majority of the arrests were for solicitation or offering to commit prostitution, the sting operation also resulted in at least one charge for each of the following offenses: deriving proceeds from prostitution, use of a computer to seduce a child, use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony, traveling to meet a minor, and lewd molestation. The operation resulted in a total of 37 felony charges and 128 misdemeanor charges.
“Operation Not So Silent Night” in December of 2016 – Read the press release issued on December 15, 2016, by Carrie Eleazer, Media Contact for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, documenting the results of a sting operation that resulted in a total 114 suspects being arrested. Although most of the charges were for misdemeanor offenses for solicit to perform lewdness and offering to engage in lewdness, other charges included Use of Computer To Seduce Child, Use of Two-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony, Traveling to Meet a Minor and Lewd Battery, Deriving Proceeds from Prostitution and Transmission of Harmful Material to Minor.
“Operation Grand Slam Suspects” in June of 2016 – Visit the website of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to find a press release dated June 6, 2016, from Donna Woods, Media Contact, announcing the results of an undercover sting operation conducted from May 31, 2016, through Sunday, June 5, 2016. In this sting operation, 128 suspects were arrested with a total of 78 charges of offering sex in exchange for money, 32 charges for offered money in exchange for sex, and 11 allegations of deriving proceeds from the activity.
“Operation Naughty Not Nice” from December of 2015 – In a press release dated on December 14, 2015, the results of a five-day sting operation were conducted from Wednesday, December 9th through Sunday, December 13th, 2015. “Operation Naughty Not Nice” resulted in a total of 95 people being arrested. Officers from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Lakeland Police Department arrested 50 people for offering to commit prostitution and 33 people for soliciting another to commit prostitution. A total of 21 felony charges and 111 misdemeanor charges were filed against the 95 suspects.
Winter Haven Undercover Prostitution String – In a press release issued on September 24, 2014, the media contact with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office announced the results of a prostitution sting operation in Winter Haven, FL. The undercover sting operation resulted in the arrests of eight suspects in Winter Haven, FL, for solicitation of prostitution, offering to commit prostitution, and/or other charges including indecent exposure.
Undercover Prostitution Sting Operation in Polk County – In a press release dated October 3, 2014, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office announced the results of an undercover prostitution investigation that resulted in the arrest of 13 suspects. Ten of the suspects were arrested for charges of Soliciting for Prostitution and one suspect was arrested for committing lewdness in public. The investigation began after receiving information about prostitution-related activities in the Inwood and Lake Ida areas of Polk County.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.