Approved ~~ MJM
LAKELAND, Fla. – More than 100 people are facing charges after the latest undercover operation targeting human trafficking in Polk County. Investigators are colorfully calling it, “Operation Santa’s Naughty List.”
The six-day sting targeted prostitution, human trafficking and child predators – busting 124 people. The charges included: solicitation, using a computer to lure a child and traveling to meet a minor for sex.
Among those arrested include: 53 prostitutes or victims of human trafficking; 46 johns; 7 child predators; and 18 others were arrested for other charges, including aiding, transporting and deriving proceeds from prostitution, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
During a Wednesday morning press conference, Judd explained counselors were immediately available for those who appeared to be human trafficking victims.
“Two young ladies never had a criminal arrest,” he said. “They immediately agreed to those services. Five others, we have a real strong possibility that they are currently trafficking victims.”