POLK COUNTY, Fla. (970 WFLA) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced today the results of a four-day prostitution investigation that resulted in the arrests of 80 suspects on a variety of charges, including soliciting for prostitution, soliciting another to commit a lewd act, deriving support/proceeds from prostitution, and aiding/abetting prostitution.
Deputies said the investigation was conducted in an undercover location in Polk County from Thursday, December 12th to Sunday, December 15th, 2013.
According to PCSO, detectives answered and placed ads on internet websites such as backpage.com. Officials said undercover detectives arrested 24 men who were soliciting (“johns”), 33 prostitutes, 13 who were aiding and abetting prostitution or deriving proceeds from prostitution, and 10 others for a variety of drug and other charges.
66% of those arrested (53 out of 80) have previous criminal histories including charges such as attempted murder, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, robbery, child abuse, battery, theft, fraud, and drug crimes, according to the sheriff’s office. Among them, deputies said they had been charged with 395 crimes, an average of 7 ½ crimes each.
Detectives said they learned that 22 of those arrested are receiving food stamps / snap benefits. Nine of the “johns” told deputies that they were married and one was engaged to be married, according to the sheriff’s office, five of the prostitutes told deputies they were married.