Sheriff Grady Judd will brief the media at 9:30 a.m. this morning (Thursday, October 28, 2021) about a six-day long undercover investigation focusing on identifying and helping victims of human trafficking, at the PCSO Sheriff’s Operations Center located at 1891 Jim Keene Blvd in Winter Haven.
The Auburndale, Haines City, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales, and Lakeland Police Departments participated in this investigation, which resulted in 102 suspects arrested (38 who offered to commit prostitution, 62 who solicited prostitutes, and two child predators). All of the suspects were from the central Florida area, with the exception of four who were from out-of-state. 55 of the suspects live in Polk County.
Detectives charged those arrested with a total of 29 felonies and 143 misdemeanors.
Of the 38 suspects arrested for offering to commit prostitution, two have been identified as possible human trafficking victims. One other person who arrived at the undercover location, a 17-year-old girl, was also identified and rescued.
Detectives worked with anti-trafficking organizations, and each suspect arrested for prostitution was offered assistance.
The two child predators were arrested for either traveling to meet a minor for sex, or transmitting materials harmful to a minor and soliciting a minor online.