Recent prostitution sting yields 19 arrests in Plant City

By GEORGE WILKENS
gwilkens@tampatrib.com
Published: June 10, 2009

PLANT CITY – If you’re looking for a prostitute, don’t come to Plant City, police say.

Officers are cracking down on prostitution near the downtown historic district, where they say sex has been for sale for as little as $4.

In the past few weeks, the police department has arrested three women ranging in age from 23 to 38 and 16 men ranging in age from 22 to 73. Police have periodically battled prostitution over the years but they say the recent spike is because of the low prices sometimes charged by the women. Sexual favors are being sold for as little as $4 to $20, police said.

Working with local businesses south of the historic downtown area, investigators were able to gather information about exact times and locations of the sex trade, according to police.

Undercover officers targeted women walking the streets and soliciting in the prostitution-plagued area, while a plainclothes female officer brought in more arrests.

Police say they will continue to monitor the situation and conduct periodic prostitution stings.

Police say those arrested in the sting include: Naomi, 34, Lisa, 38, Lisa M, 23, Oscar, 22, Toney, 51, Daniel, 54, Ricardo, 36, Arnulfo, 39, James, 61, Barney, 67, Francisco, 51, Henry, 73, Robert, 69, Valentin, 57, Glenn, 49, Samuel, 51, James, 38, Darryl, 47, and Mauricio, 37.

Mauricio was also charged with resisting arrest, fleeing to elude, aggravated assault on a police officer with a motor vehicle and reckless driving, police said.

Reporter George Wilkens can be reached at (813) 627-4769 .

Original at Plant City Courier and Tribune

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