On Thursday, November 19, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCS0) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) conducted a joint undercover operation with federal authorities investigating possible human trafficking. The conclusion of the operation resulted in the arrests of five women for prostitution.
Through investigative means, FCSO undercover detectives were able to separately meet with five women at undisclosed locations within Flagler County. During the encounter, the undercover detective would reach an agreement with the woman and they would exchange money for sexual acts. Once an agreement was reached, undercover detectives signaled deputies to move in and make the arrest.
“I want to thank the FCSO Special Investigations Unit for their great work in investigating human trafficking with our federal partners,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Human trafficking and prostitution can be thought of by some as a ‘victimless crimes’ since it appears the two parties are consensual. However, the women are rarely in control of the funds they receive, human trafficking plays a large role, and these encounters are often accompanied by drug activity. We will not tolerate human trafficking or prostitution in Flagler County. So if you are thinking about soliciting sex and possibly participating in human trafficking in Flagler County – think again. We will find you and you will go to jail.”
None of the five women arrested live in Flagler County as they had all traveled from Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, and St. Augustine.
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The investigation is ongoing.