Connect with us
United States Attorney Lawrence Keefe speaks to media about investigation. Image by Jason Delgado

Headlines

Tallahassee sex trafficking investigation leads to more than 170 arrests

Authorities said the minor is on the ‘road to recovery.’

The Tallahassee Police Department announced Tuesday that a two-year sex trafficking investigation has led to the arrest of more than 170 individuals.

The multi-agency investigation, coined Operation Stolen Innocence, dates back to November 2018 and involves a 13- to 14-year-old girl whose mother solicited her.

Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell said the investigation is likely the largest in city history.

“This investigation is a testament to how diligent our investigators work to enhance the quality of life for everyone in this community, especially our vulnerable population,” Revell said. “They worked tirelessly to bring justice to the victim in this case and were able to make an unprecedented number of human trafficking-related arrests.”

Image by Jason Delgado.

In all, 72 suspects were charged with misdemeanors while 106 suspects were charged with felonies. Of those 106 suspects, 19 are facing federal felony charges. Some of those arrested reside as far west as Mississippi, Revell said.

The federal charges range from coercion of a minor to engage in prostitution to production and/or receipt of child pornography. Other charges include sex trafficking a minor and conspiracy to sex traffic a minor.

“For so long as I am the United States Attorney, I will do everything I can to contribute to multi-agency efforts, to make federal resources available, and to assist your State Attorney, your police department and your Sheriff as they protect our children and guard this community,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe.

The investigation began when Tallahassee investigators found images of the minor posted on a website advertising sex for money. The electronic paper trail would later be followed across text messages, social media and other websites.

“It is difficult to comprehend the depravity of these criminals who prey on the most innocent in our society,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent  Kevin Sibley.

The investigation involved multiple federal, state and local agencies including the Tallahassee Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshal Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.

Revell said the minor is on the “road to recovery.”

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sonja Fitch

    November 22, 2020 at 7:02 am

    But But that rich Fing piece of scum Epstein was allowed to keep on with his sex trafficking for his white rich men! Justice for all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.