102 people were arrested in a 6-day undercover investigation in Polk County known as “Operation No Tricks No Treats,” with the intent of identifying and helping victims of human trafficking who might be forced into prostitution.
The operation used internet ads to arrange the meetings between undercover detectives and suspects, which took place at an undercover location in Polk County.
“The primary purpose for these operations is to identify victims of human trafficking and those who prey on the victims, as well as the deviant child predators who stalk children online," Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said. "We work hand-in-hand with organizations to get help for the victims of human trafficking. We identified three possible victims during this investigation.”
There were three people who came to the undercover location to commit prostitution, but may be victims of human trafficking, one of whom is a minor, detectives said.
Detectives worked with Selah Freedom, One More Child, Heartland for Children, and Children’s Home Society Child Advocacy Center for assistance and support.
Polk Sheriff's Office says each person who was arrested for prostitution was given immediate access to the members of the anti-trafficking organizations and offered assistance.
Authorities say two men were arrested for soliciting who they thought were children online. One of those suspects traveled to the location to meet the “child,” and the other suspect was arrested in Orange County where he works, on a Polk County Warrant.
There were 38 people arrested for offering to commit prostitution and four of those suspects have prior arrests for prostitution; of the 38 arrests, two are possible adult victims of human trafficking – a third underage victim was not arrested. 62 were arrested who were soliciting a prostitute and five of those were previously arrested for the same crime.
According to the Sheriff's Office, 11 of those arrested told detectives that they are married.
55 of the suspects live in Polk County. The oldest person arrested is 78 years old, while the youngest is 19 years old.