November 19, 2019

TAMPA — Authorities in Florida’s Tampa Bay area say they’ve arrested 104 people in connection with human trafficking charges during a five-month long investigation.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said 76 men were arrested for trying to buy sex, and 28 were women who were in the sex trade.

“Operation Trade Secrets” concentrated on websites and forums known for soliciting sex, along with strip clubs, massage parlors and motels. Female detectives posed as prostitutes and male officers posed as “johns.”

Chronister said among the most disturbing arrests involved two men. An undercover detective posed as the stepfather of a 14-year-old girl and arranged for the two suspects to perform sex acts on the fictitious child. The sheriff says the things they requested were beyond description.