Brooksville is a suburb of Tampa, Florida, in Hernando County. Its population is about 8,000 residents. The Brooksville Police Department has conducting street-level reverse stings in response to citizen complaints, and as a means of rates of drug and prostitution-related homicides in certain areas of the city.
To combat consumer level demand for commercial sex that drives the markets for prostitution and sex trafficking (and that provides a revenue stream for illicit drug trafficking), police may seize the vehicles of arrested sex buyers, and the names, ages, and other details about the johns are released to the media. For example, 32 men were arrested during a five-day sting in 2008 dubbed “Operation Working Woman” by the Brooksville Police Department. Officers targeted two areas , the intersection of Jefferson Street and Ponce De Leon Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in south Brooksville. The arrested men were from all over the North Suncoast, from places as far away as Inverness, New Port Richey, Homosassa and Spring Hill. The men were described as from all income levels and occupations, and ranged in age from 20 to 78. Each of the men arrested approached an undercover female officer and offered money in exchange for a variety of sex acts. The men were each charged with a single count of solicitation for prostitution, a misdemeanor. Prostitution-related homicides and numerous complaints about criminal activity from nearby residents were cited as the reasons for police conducting the crackdown.
- Brooksville Police Department
- Criminal Investigation Division
- Street-Level Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Looking for Love, Landing in Custody; Would-Be Johns Discover That a ‘Prostitute’ Is a Police Officer; Eight Are Arrested in a Two-Day Sting,” Tampa Bay Times, May 26 2006.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 32 men in Brooksville,” Tampa Bay Times, September 16 2008.
- “5-Day Prostitution Sting Rounds up 32 Men in Brooksville,” St. Petersburg Times, September 17 2008.
- “Brooksville Police Target Prostitution Hub,” Tampa Bay Times, September 28 2008.
- “Mixed Verdicts in Prostitution Sting Cases,” Tampa Bay Times, November 17 2008.
- “Hernando Man Found Not Guilty on Prostitution Charge,” St. Petersburg Times, November 19 2008.
- “Judge Declares Mistrial in Brooksville Prostitution Sting,” St. Petersburg Times, November 20 2008.
- “Brooksville Prostitution Sting Criticized,” Tampa Bay Times, December 6 2008.
- “‘Johns’ Rounded up in Brooksville Prostitution Sting,” Hernando Today, August 4 2009.
- “Seven Arrests during Brooksville Prostitution Sting and Drug Surveillance Operation,” Tampa Bay Times, February 16 2010.
- “Prostitution Lingers in Brooksville,” Hernando Today, February 24 2010.
- Auto Seizure:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Man Faces Charges of Lewd Acts,” St. Petersburg Times, October 24 1991.
- “Motel Owner in Hernando County Jail on Sex Charges Involving Teen-ager,” St. Petersburg Times, October 24 1991.
- “Innkeeper Charged in Tryst with Teenager,” Tampa Tribune, October 26 1991.
- “Woman Charged in Teen Sex Plot,” St. Petersburg Times, October 26 1991.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Police Chief Goes Undercover to Help with Prostitution Arrests,” St. Petersburg Times, May 13 2003.
- “Three Brooksville Women Charged with Prostitution,” St. Petersburg Times, March 30 2006.
- “Suspicious Woman Arrested in Known Prostitution Area,” Hernando Today, March 16 2010.
- “4 Women Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Tampa Bay Times, July 7 2012.
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Body Is Identified as a Tampa Woman,” St. Petersburg Times, March 27 1987.