Undercover detectives in Clay County arrest 16 people in an Orange Park prostitution sting.
Fourteen women and two men have been charged with crimes including soliciting prostitution, practicing massage without a license, drug possession and more. The investigation started after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office fielded numerous complaints from people living in the area about potential illegal activity.
“Definitely should open the eyes of a lot of regular citizens to the fact that this type of criminal activity can go on in our county,” says CCSO Spokeswoman Mary Justino.
The arrests are not all believed to be related- stemming from several different massage parlors in Orange Park as well as home visits from “escorts”.
According to the police reports obtained by WOKV, detectives would solicit escorts from websites known for prostitution and then pay an agreed upon amount at an arranged location.
The men who were arrested acted as drivers for the prostitutes who traveled to Clay to do business.
“It is important that we address all aspects of this criminal activity,” Justino says.
One alleged prostitute was as young as 18-years-old. Several were also found to possess drugs, including marijuana, methodone, Xanax and heroin.
Justino says they are not expecting any more arrests from this specific three day sting, however, she’s not ruling out other similar stings in the future. She says it’s been at least five years since the Sheriff’s Office has made a bust of this type and magnitude.