Dozens arrested in Polk County online sex sting

Dozens arrested in Polk County online sex sting

Those arrested came from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds, including doctors, teachers, active and retired military members and active and retired law enforcement officers, according to WFLA.

Kevin Scott, a Marine colonel on TAD to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, was among the 300 individuals arrested over the weekend in a massive prostitution and human-trafficking sting orchestrated by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and officially named - no, really, - "Operation No Tricks, No Treats".

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd plans to release more details of the investigation later today.

The sting began at two undisclosed locations in Polk County on October 10 and ran through October 16, according to deputies.

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During the operation, undercover detectives posted fictitious ads or profiles on various social media platforms, websites and mobile phone apps, posing as prostitutes or those soliciting prostitutes.

"We are absolutely embarrassed", Sheriff Judd said. When a "John" responded, an undercover detective negotiated a sexual act in exchange for money and arranged a meeting place at a hotel.

The majority of those arrested - 209 people - are accused of soliciting undercover detectives, and 51 advertised themselves as prostitutes online. Despite repeated warnings and media coverage of past operations, the sheriff said, numerous suspects responded to the ads and drove to one of the two different undercover locations to engage in illegal prostitution. Sheriff's spokeswoman Michele Cash said Reynold's told them he was a retired Birmingham Police Department homicide detective. "He messed up and no longer works for the Sheriff's Office". Judd said two of the male suspects traveled to have sex with minors and two others were sex offenders.

"Welcome to Polk County", Judd said to them during his news conference. "It's no secret...you need to stay out of Polk County if you're going to commit crime".

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