71 Arrested In Human Trafficking Operation Dubbed ‘Operation Interception’
A total of 71 people have been arrested for human trafficking in a sting operation called Operation Interception.
The mug shots of the people arrested over the course of the months long operation were released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The operation took place in Tampa, Florida and was aimed at targeting and deterring human trafficking.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has taken many actions to combat human trafficking leading up to the Super Bowl coming to Tampa next month.
“With less than a month until the big game, our covert operations continue, seeking those who choose to sexually exploit others here in our community,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Our goal, as the operation name explains, is to ‘intercept’ individuals involved in sexual exploitation before they are able to take advantage of vulnerable individuals, and ultimately, to deter others.”
From December through January detectives posted online ads offering sex for sale. Female detectives posed as prostitutes.
The 71 who were arrested were arrested for soliciting another to commit prostitution or entering/remaining in a place for prostitution.
Sheriff Chronister said that Hillsborough County has a zero-tolerance for human trafficking,
“Like any major sporting event, the Super Bowl should not be a venue where these types of crimes occur on the sidelines, whether it’s before, during, or after the game,” said Sheriff Chronister. “We know from past experiences with major sporting events that there will be some who travel for the exclusive purpose of taking advantage of women and children. I want to make it very clear, if you are planning to engage in the sexual exploitation of others, I’m urging you to think twice. We will find you, and you will be arrested.”