WFTV Newsletter Sign Up

Delivered To Your Inbox

Arrests made in prostitution stings on Orange Blossom Trail

Updated:

Loading

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An undercover prostitution sting involving deputies, state agents and even animal control officers took place in Orange County Thursday evening.

Channel 9's Renee Stoll rode along with deputies during the operation.

Decoy prostitutes were standing near an Orange Blossom Trail bus stop.

Stoll said within 15 minutes a car pulled up and the team of law enforcement officer had their first arrest.

Paul Wanell was likely regretting the last 15 minutes of his day.
   
"You have a wife and kids?" Stoll asked Wanell has officers took him into custody.

"Yes. I have to pick up my kids from daycare," said Wanell.

"That's where you were on your way to go?"

"Yes, I just get off [work] and pick up my kids and go home," said Wanell.

Deputies said Wanell was caught trying to pick up one of the decoy prostitutes that investigators with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation and the Orange County Sheriff's Office had on Orange Blossom Trail.

One agent explained how the operation worked.

"Once [the decoy] feels she's made a case she'll give a predetermined signal," said the agent.

When the signal was given, the takedown team moved in. Those arrested were immediately taken to another location to be processed.

Agents had to call animal control officers after the owner of two dogs was taken to jail.

"Were you trying to pick up those women?" Stoll asked Kevin Garner, owner of the dogs.

"No, I was just talking," said Garner.

Garner told Stoll he had no idea why he was being arrested.
   
"I was sitting in my car. Why did they come over to me?" said Garner.

"Why didn't you ask them to leave?" Stoll asked him.

"I was like, 'Hi, how ya doing?' I was like, 'OK, if two girls come over to you and say 'Hi', you say 'Hi,'" said Garner.

Agents were also working a similar operation in an effort to arrest prostitutes on another section of Orange Blossom Trail.