East Palatka, FL

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

East Palatka is a census-designated place of less than 2,000 residents, located in northeastern Florida’s Putnam County. Law enforcement and local residents have noted problems with street prostitution in the city for decades years; individuals attempting to purchase sex in the city have also reported being robbed. Sex trafficking has also been well documented locally.

In April 2014, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office conducted a two-week anti-prostitution and anti-drug investigation that led to the arrest of 12 male sex buyers. The men were arrested after approaching an undercover female deputy along the Highway 17 South Corridor and making an offer of cash for sexual services. All arrestees’ names, ages, and mugshots were released to the public.

In April, 2022, a street-level reverse stings occurred in which undercover officers walked up and down sidewalks at various locations in Palatka and East Palatka. The undercover officers would notify deputies if there were any solicitors and then “direct the solicitors to a pre-determined location where a takedown team would then be utilized to take the suspect into custody,” according to the arrest report.  The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in the press release and news reports.

Key Partners

State Florida
Type City
Population 1654
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