LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A prostitution investigation landed 44 people behind bars and resulted in a teenage human trafficking victim being rescued, Lake County Sheriff's Office officials said Tuesday.
According to investigators, a 14-year-old victim of human trafficking was rescued during the three-day operation.
Sheriff's detectives said the days are gone when prostitutes are found hanging out on street corners. They said that now the meetings are set up online and that's what detectives did to round up so many suspects.
The 44 men and women arrested came from all over central Florida and some from outside the area, investigators said.
"We had johns, we had pimps, we had drivers, and we had prostitutes
, so we got the whole gamut," said Lt. John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
The operation was called Holler Back. Undercover detectives logged onto Internet chat rooms, posing as either johns or prostitutes, and talked sex and money.
The meeting place was a motel room in the county. The Sheriff's Office won't say where it was.
One of the men arrested, Gregory Foster, 28, of Orlando, is charged with human trafficking.
He is accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and bringing her to the motel to make some money
"It happens. I don't think this county has a large problem with that, but we want to make sure it stays that way," said Sheriff Gary Borders.
Detectives said a couple of the suspects had guns and several had drugs.
They said that many of those arrested are repeat offenders.