An undercover prostitution sting conducted by officials with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the New Port Richey Police Department on Thursday resulted in the arrest of eight women.
The sting was fueled by complaints from business owners in the area that said the alleged activity was distracting from their business.
According to 10 News, undercover officers approached the women and arranged a price for sexual activity. Once a number was agreed upon, the women were arrested. The conversations were supposedly recorded.
Each of the women was arrested for one misdemeanor charge of prostitution.
One woman faces an additional charge of possession of marijuana after the drug was allegedly found tucked inside her bra following her arrest.
She remained in the Land O’Lakes County Jail as of Thursday with bail set at $50.
Most of the other women were released on their own recognizance (ROR).
Local police departments throughout the state of Florida commonly conduct undercover sting operations to bust any activity that can be identified as prostitution. These types of prostitution busts and undercover operations involve an inherent level of deception. In fact, undercover officials may tell a whole host of lies in order to make an arrest. It is not uncommon for people arrested in undercover stings to feel entrapped by police. Unfortunately, courts do not always view undercover busts as police entrapment. Engaging in negotiations of any kind, specifically negotiating and accepting a price, can ultimately be considered some form of prostitution. Keep in mind that most undercover busts are recorded, so anything said by the accused as well as police can be used as evidence.
The penalties associated with a prostitution conviction in Florida can be a variety of the following: community service, county jail, fines, probation, mandatory AIDS testing, court-enforced counseling and loss of employment for those who hold government jobs or have a profession that requires a license. While on the lesser end of sex crimes offenses, sometimes prostitution cases can be pursued quite aggressively by prosecutors. The State’s attitude often erupts from an overwhelming pressure brought on by the public or business owners in area where prostitution is prevalent. For reasons such as these, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced Florida Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Attorney to seek that minimal consequences prevail.
The Florida Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton provide criminal defense for those arrested for and accused of prostitution, solicitation and other types of sex crimes charges throughout the state of Florida. If you have been arrested for prostitution, it is best to contact our offices as soon as possible so that we can anticipate the State’s next move and how to aggressively defend your charges.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for prostitution in New Port Richey or any other city in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call our Pasco County Office at (727) 847-2299 or in Tampa at (813) 221-3200 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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