Lake County, FL

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Lake County is  located in north-central Florida, and has just over 300,000 residents. Prostitution and domestic minor sex trafficking have been reported in the county, which includes the city of Leesburg.  For example, in April 2014 an undercover operation resulted in the rescue of a 14-year-old victim of human trafficking and the arrests of 44 alleged prostitutes, pimps and “johns.” The suspected trafficker was accused of abducting the 14-year-old from a gas station, trying to force her to have sex with a man for money at an Orlando home, and raping her himself before taking her to the motel where he thought another customer awaited, according to an arrest affidavit.  In April 2014, the task force was also investigating an estimated 10 possible human trafficking cases in the county.  The county also has had numerous homicides of prostituted women dating back to the early 1990s, which have been investigated as potential serial murders.

In April 2014, the LCSO conducted a large-scale reversal resulting in the arrest of 24 johns (and 20 prostituted women). Over the course of several days, LCSO deputies “set up outside an undisclosed hotel, where men willing to pay for sex and women offering sex for money showed up at the designated hotel room.” During the course of the investigation, officers recovered a 14-year-old female who had previously been kidnapped from an Orange County gas station forced into prostitution by an adult male trafficker. As with its earlier operation, the LCSO released the names (and in this case, arrest photos) of all individuals intercepted during the sting.

In August 2018, Sheriff’s detectives arrested six buyers seeking sex with children during a major prostitution sting that lasted from Aug. 16 to Aug. 26.  The six men thought they were going to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex at a vacant house in south Lake County, but instead met undercover investigators and were arrested. One man brought alcohol, others carried condoms and candy.  The Lake County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and other member agencies of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to conduct the operation.


Key Partners

  • Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Key Sources

State Florida
Type County
Population 303186
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