A Broward County, Florida prostitution sting resulted in 12 arrests on Friday, news sources report. Information regarding the defendants’ identities was not immediately available following the arrests; they were each booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges stemming from the incident. It is too early to tell whether they have qualified for bail. The press did not list attorneys for any of the defendants.
According to reports, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office started the operation after receiving numerous complaints from residents in the 600 and 900 blocks of Northwest 27th Avenue. The complaints were related to a high number of prostitutes in the area, sources indicate.
Based on reports, police dubbed the operation “47 Op.” Officers went undercover and pretended to be johns in the 600 and 900 blocks of NW 27th Avenue for a period of several hours. During that time, officers arrested 12 suspects, including prostitutes and their alleged pimps, sources indicate. It is not clear whether any real johns were nabbed in the operation.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said the takedown would not have been possible without the help of area residents. “Open communication between law enforcement and the community is crucial to ensure that the needs of the residents of Broward County are met as they relate to public safety,” a police spokesperson reportedly said. Police are continuing to investigate the problem and are asking anyone with any more information to contact the Broward Crime Stoppers. It is unclear whether there will be any additional arrests.
Reports of prostitution are rampant throughout out South Florida’s cities. Some people resort to the crime for money or drugs, while others are forced into the trade. Earlier this year, Oakland Park resident Jose Hernan Castellon was arrested after he paid to have sex with a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly pimped out by her own mother, sources report. Castellon, 43, was placed in the Broward County Main Jail on charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. His court date is not yet known.
Reports say the prostitution occurred in January 2011. Castellon reportedly gave the duo $500 in return for sexual services at his Oakland Park Home from the teen, who had just turned 16. A Broward County police spokesperson said, “After her sixteenth birthday was the first time her mother actually set up or arranged a meeting between her and Jose Castellon who is the suspect in this case to engage in sexual intercourse.”
The alleged prostitution occurred again in January of this year. During that incident, Castellon met with the underage girl at a Motel 6 and paid her $60 to $80 for sex. Based on reports, the mother acted as the girl’s pimp during this instance as well. “The [daughter] advised that her mother organized her sexual contacts with the defendant,” sources say. “It is bad enough that he was abusing a minor. It is horrible that her mother is who arranged it,” a detective spokesperson supposedly said regarding the case.