Central Florida prostitution sting nets 23 arrests - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Central Florida prostitution sting nets 23 arrests

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Twenty-three people were arrested in an escort sting that targeted individuals in Central Florida. Twenty-three people were arrested in an escort sting that targeted individuals in Central Florida.
MARION COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Twenty-three people were arrested in an escort sting that targeted individuals in Central Florida.

Officials in Marion County had undercover officers solicit individuals on backpage.com, according to NBC affiliate WESH-TV.

Authorities discovered cocaine, marijuana and other drugs on several of the individuals. They also seized more than a thousand dollars in cash and a vehicle.

The Orlando NBC affiliate is reporting that one of the individuals arrested told officials his wife was currently out of the area and that he was going to be in trouble when she finds out about his arrest.

The sting is the latest in a series of prostitution busts across the state. In December, Polk officials arrests 80 individuals in a prostitution sting that also used the website Backpage.com to solicit individuals.

RELATED: Polk prostitution sting nets 80 arrests

In the Polk county case, officials said many of the individuals had previous criminal histories including charges such as attempted murder, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, robbery, child abuse, battery, theft, fraud, and drug crimes.

One month later, Polk officials announced another 78 people were charged in an ongoing sex sting that targeted online sites for prostitution.

RELATED: Polk County detectives arrest 78 in undercover prostitution investigation

In March, Bradenton police arrested 8 people related to a prostitution sting conducted throughout their city. At the time, officials said they focused on known prostitutes, and people soliciting them.

RELATED: Bradenton Police arrest 8 during prostitution operation

In May, a total of 98 people were arrested as part of an undercover prostitution investigation in Polk County targeting human trafficking suspects.Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the four-day investigation targeted websites where suspects were advertising prostitution and were soliciting others for prostitution.

RELATED: 98 arrested during Polk undercover prostitution investigation

And in June officials nabbed more than a dozen individuals in a prostitution crackdown in Clearwater. Seven women and six men were arrested and facing a variety of charges including drug possession, resisting arrest, fleeing to elude and solicitation for prostitution. The operation targeted illegal activity in the city’s East Gateway community.

RELATED: Clearwater Police arrest 13 in prostitution crackdown



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