Polk deputies arrest more than 100 in 6-day human-trafficking & prostitution operation

Posted at 7:51 AM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 17:25:47-05

A high-ranking official at with the Osceloa County School Board is among the more than 100 people caught in a prostitution sting in Polk County.

The six-day operation -- which has become almost an annual tradition right before Christmas -- focused on human trafficking and prostitution. 

A central Florida school employee, a corrections officer and a 40-year-old Davenport man who had a pregnant wife at home who was due that same day, were among the 114 arrests. 

"We rescued potentially four ladies, and if that’s all that occurred out of that operation than it’s a huge success," said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Matthew Phillips, who has his PhD, is in charge of the elementary curriculum for Osceola County Schools. Detectives say he met up with what he thought were two prostitutes.

They were actually undercover detectives.

"I'm sure his wife is really proud of him today," Judd said.

The school board said he is currently on leave while the situation is under review.

In all, the operation netted a total of 50 prostitutes and 51 "Johns". Two of the men were arrested for trying to meet up for sex with a child.

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