Four suspects from Orlando and Kissimmee were arrested in a six-day sting operation named “Operation March Sadness 2.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit began the sting operation on March 8, according to a press release from PCSO. Law enforcement departments from Winter Haven, Haines City, Lakes Wales and Auburndale assisted.
Detectives identified sex workers who posted online advertisements as well as investigated those who engaged in online sexual-explicit conversations with people they believed to be minors. Authorities arrested 108 people, including Tiffany Nash and Shannon Johnson, of Orlando.
Officials arrested Nash for trafficking another woman, according to the press release. Authorities said Nash repeatedly threatened the victim if she didn’t solicit herself and then took the victim’s money. Nash faces multiple felonies, including human trafficking, cocaine possession and earning money from prostitution.
Johnson is accused of chatting online with a 13-year-old victim, sending them a nude photo and then traveling to meet with the teen to have sex. Detectives charged him with traveling to meet a minor and the transmission of material harmful to a minor, according to the release.
Authorities also arrested Xavier Jackson and James Compton, of Kissimmee.
Jackson was arrested for communicating with a 14-year-old victim and sending them graphic sexual images. He also vividly described sexual acts he wanted to do with the victim, according to authorities.
Compton, who told detectives he was married with eight children, left one of his kids at a soccer game to meet with a sex worker. He was charged for soliciting.
Polk Sheriff Grady Judd believed the operation was a success. “The arrests of a human trafficker and four child predators alone makes this whole operation worthwhile,” Judd said. “Our goal is to identify victims, offer them help, and find and arrest those who are profiting from the exploitation of human beings.”
Source: Orlando Sentinel