Sheriff Grady Judd announced Thursday that the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested over 200 people during a human trafficking sting. Among the 200 arrests was a USF football player, A California school board member, and even married couples. A Clearwater woman was also arrested, she had just been released from Florida State Prison three days before.

Bailey Purcell is a sophomore wide receiver at the University of South Florida. According to News Channel 8, Purcell was also charged with soliciting another person for prostitution. Judd stated that he almost wanted to feel sorry for the kid. Apparently he asked Judd to not call his parents at the time of his arrest, but his pastor.

The human trafficking sting “Operation Traffic Stop” concluded with 213 arrests. According to PCSO, 111 arrests – over half of the total – were individuals offering to perform prostitution. Sheriff Judd also described how some arrestees ended up in Polk County. He stated that 24 people were identified as victims of human trafficking. Judd said the women were forced into prostitution to “pay off their debt” to the men who smuggled them across the border.

“Human traffickers are forcing these ladies across the border so they can indenture them,” Judd said.

Jodi Domangue, Executive Director of Anti-Trafficking for One More Child explained that the signs of trafficking aren’t always what you see on viral social posts. ” It’s a product of generations of cyclical poverty.” Some signs of human trafficking include:

  • Lacking personal belongings
  • Giving “scripted” answers or inconsistent details regarding their whereabouts or activities
  • Lacking identifying documents (driver’s license, I.D., etc.)
  • Has evidence of controlling or dominating relationships

If you suspect someone is being trafficked, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1.888.373.7888, or your local law enforcement office. To learn more about the signs of human trafficking, click here.

[Source: News Channel 8]

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