60 Arrested In Undercover Prostitution Bust


POLK COUNTY, Fla.,None - Dozens of people from Central Florida were arrested in a major prostitution sting (see mug shots), including a Disney worker and a Kissimmee teenager who brought her baby along.

MUG SHOTS: See All 60 Suspects Arrested RAW VIDEO: Undercover Video Of Bust (Explicit) SLIDESHOW: Images From Bust (Explicit) PRESS CONFERENCE: Sheriff Talks About Bust

Polk County detectives released undercover video that captured everything from the accused prostitutes stripping, to their arrests. In all, 60 people were arrested. Thirty-six women and 24 men were charged with either soliciting another for prostitution, deriving proceeds from prostitution, or aiding and abetting prostitution.

The sheriff said only one person arrested was from Polk County. Half of the people arrested came from Central Florida and others from out of state.

"Some arrived alone. Some car-pooled; and some arrived in taxis, bringing along their children, condoms, and STDs," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "Detectives targeted online escort services who promote prostitution. These sites increasingly provide the means for prostitution to occur. Detectives saw a 15-year-old run-away who brought her infant child along, a pregnant woman, a school bus driver, gang members, and pimps."

A 15-year-old brought her 2-month-old baby and her gang-affiliated boyfriend to the house where the undercover sting was being operated. Sheriff Grady Judd said her boyfriend was the pimp and sat in the car with the baby while she turned some tricks.

"It shocks me over time. We do this arrest and see this 2-month-old baby brought to the scene," Judd said.

Prostitution Bust Polk County ALL MUGS 041811 MUG SHOTS: See All 60 Suspects Arrested BUST (explicit): Raw Video | See Images The Polk County Sheriff's Office set up the undercover sting, dubbed "Operation Curtain Call." Detectives were involved for a one-week investigation where officers posed undercover, surfed Internet websites and solicited escort services for anywhere between $50 to $700 each time.

"It's obvious from the suspect's criminal histories, prostitution is a consistent partner to other criminal offenses. Prostitution is illegal and those who commit or who derive proceeds from this crime in Polk County can expect to go to jail," Judd said.

Among those arrested was a transgender man named Hector Febus Ojeda, who showed off in front of a cop. He works as taxi driver for Mears and drove from east Orange County to Polk County.

Other arrests include a Disney worker, a Pasco County bus driver, and a prostitute who was five months pregnant.

Prostitutes, johns, and gang members were arrested in the bust. Most were from other states and counties; Sheriff Judd said the operation was to send a message to others.

Prostitution is a misdemeanor, which carries a year sentence and up to a $1,000 fine. The baby who the arrested teen brought along was taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families.

Detectives said the suspects traveled to the undercover location from across Florida, including Orlando, Altamonte Springs, Lehigh Acres, Naples, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Land O'Lakes, Riverview, Longwood, Apopka, Hudson, Sarasota, Miami, Lauderdale, Plant City, Kissimmee, and Davenport. Detectives said many of those arrested have been arrested all over the United States, including Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Georgia, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah.

The sheriff's office said the last time it conducted a similar investigation, Craigslist ended up shutting down the escort service portion.

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