Polk County Nabs More than 100 in Human Trafficking Bust


WINTER HAVEN -- More than a hundred suspects are facing charges after a six-day special operation against human trafficking, led by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

It was targeted to identify and help trafficking victims who might be forced into prostitution. Officers from five city police departments in Polk County also took part.

"Operation No Tricks No Treats" set up online ads to arrange meetings at an undercover location in Polk County.

62 men are accused of soliciting prostitution, while 38 women are accused of prostitution-related charges. Two women and a minor girl identified as possible victims of trafficking were referred to various support groups for assistance. All of the women arrested were offered that option. Two of the three potential victims are in the country illegally.

Of the suspects, 11 of those arrested told detectives they are married. They face 29 felonies and 143 misdemeanors. More than half live in Polk County and 14 receive government assistance.

Two men, 64-year-old Donald Spencer of Mulberry and 27-year-old Theodore Jones of Satellite Beach, are facing charges of soliciting a detective posing as a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd posed with a Pikachu stuffed toy during the news conference.

Photo: Polk Sheriff/Canva


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