Polk undercover operation leads to 92 prostitution arrests:
If you haven’t been following my site for a while you’d know that Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida is one of if not the most proactive law enforcement officer when it comes to catching craigslist and backpage traffickers and predators. His latest feat is just one huge accomplishment in a long list of accomplishments in this area. His latest sting that involved prostitutes, johns and pimps has netted the arrests of 92 people.
Among them was 45-year-old Samuel Yoon. Yoon is/was a youth minister from California who was arrested during the sting for allegedly wanting to ‘have sex’ with a 14-year-old child prostitute. Also arrested was a guy celebrating his divorce and another guy who was on his honeymoon.
Sheriff Judd has put Backpage on notice…
“It’s abundantly clear to us Backpage is facilitating organized prostitution and facilitating human trafficking.”
Judd said he’s putting Backpage officially on notice. “It’s a promise. Backpage, you are going to be criminally investigated. So are the people in charge of your organization.”
We need more law enforcement officials like Sheriff Judd who are willing to make high-profile stings like this in order to get the word out that sex trafficking of women and children will not be tolerated and that Backpage is the problem and not even remotely close to being part of the solution as they may claim.
UPDATE: Sheriffs also discovered a 15-year-old girl who was working as a prostitute since she was 13. They say that she was tattooed with gang symbols marking her as her pimp’s property. How can anyone not call this slavery as the branding of slaves was prevalent prior to the U.S. Civil War? Those who forget the past are really doomed to repeat it.
Sheriff Judd has also stated that he has the permission of the state to launch a full-fledged investigation into Backpage. Hopefully he can accomplish something that no lawmaker or law enforcement officer has been yet to do.
I’m going to forgo the headline this time because it ruins the surprise.
So say you’re local police department decided to carry out a sting on craigslist to catch would be child predators. Say they placed an ad on craigslist posing as a stepmother willing to turn out her 14-year-old stepdaughter for sex on craigslist. How many people do you think they would arrest? 1? 3? 10?
In Polk County, Florida sheriff’s arrested 38 people in a 10 day sting dubbed Operation Cyber Child. If you’re new to the site Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County is my favorite sheriff in the country. He has continued to carry out not only child predator stings through craigslist but also many sex trafficking stings as well using craigslist and backpage.
Of course among the 38 arrestees we have the obligatory grade school teacher. During the sting sheriffs arrested 43-year-old Matthew Chillcott, a 5th grade teacher from Orlando. Hitting the stereotype daily double they also arrested a registered sex offender in 31-year-old Wilson Silva of Brooksville, Florida. Silva has been on the registry since 2001. I wonder if it took him this long to reoffend or was it just the first time he’s been caught.
Now think about this. If they arrest this many people who think they;re being offered a child on craigslist how much do you think it’s happening without it being the police? It’s disturbing to think about it.
While the national media has moved on from craigslist since they closed the erotic services section I haven’t. I still see craigslist for the unmoderated cesspool of pedophiles that it is. Will it have to take a child version of Julissa Brisman before craigslist is held responsible once again? I hope to hell not.
UPDATE 6/16/2012: Add NASA engineer Phil Luna of San Jose, California to the list of those arrested in the Florida sting.
Luna was said to have gotten on a plane to come to Florida in order to meet what he thought was going to be a mother and her 11-year-old daughter.
Apparently being a ‘rocket scientist’ doesn’t make you a smarter pedophile.
Legal Action Considered Against Polk Sheriff:
This one is from the “Boy does that woman have brass ones” department.
Christina Garcia is the mother of Mercades Nichols. Mercades is one of if not the main suspect in the videotaped beating of Victoria Lindsay.
You would think that Ms. Garcia has more important matters to attend to like making sure her daughter stays out of jail but no. Ms. Garcia has taken it upon herself to file a lawsuit against Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd for making ‘defamatory’ remarks and causing ‘severe emotional damages’.
In her intent to sue notice, Bernard wrote that Judd failed to handle the arrest of the teens “with integrity and a degree of care” that would have protected them “against unfair treatment and exposure.”
Judd has described the March 30 beating in published news stories as “animalistic” and said that after the teens were arrested, they were laughing together in a holding cell, saying “Am I going to miss cheerleading practice?” and “I guess we’re not going to the beach this week.”
I didn’t know you could be sued for the truth. Garcia’s face is causing me severe emotional damages. Can I sue for that?
UPDATE 1/8/09: Thread closed due to length. Conversation continues at http://www.trenchreynolds.com/2008/11/19/pleas-offered-in-cheerleader-beating/