Crime

114 suspects arrested in undercover sex sting

The Polk County Sheriff's Office released these photos during a Thursday news conference.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office released these photos during a Thursday news conference. Bay News 9

The probe — dubbed "Operation Not So Silent Night" — focused on suspects advertising prostitution in online ads and human trafficking.

A total of 114 people were arrested, and warrants were filed on two others.

During the investigation, female undercover detectives posted fictitious ads online, and male undercover detectives responded to ads posted online by others.

The suspects ranged in age from 17 to 64 years old. In a news release, the sheriff's office highlighted some of the arrests.

- Matthew Phillips, PhD, of St. Cloud, is the director of elementary curriculum at the Osceola County School Board. The 42-year-old arrived at the undercover location to have sex with a prostitute, authorities said. He is married. He was arrested and charged with offer to engage in lewdness, and battery (he's accused of grabbing the undercover detective against her will).

- Matthew Irvin of Oakland told detectives that he told his wife he was going out to buy Christmas presents for his children, but came to the undercover location instead to have sex with a prostitute. Irvin, 50, was arrested and charged with offer to engage in lewdness.

- Michael Campanaro of Clermont identified himself as a corrections officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Coleman. The 33-year-old was arrested and charged with offer to engage in lewdness.

- Michael Bonislawski of Davenport told detectives his pregnant wife was at home, and that their baby was due the same day he showed up to the undercover location. The 40-year-old was arrested and charged with offer to engage in lewdness.

Of the 114 people charged, 50 were alleged prostitutes, 51 solicited to pay for prostitution and two were arrested for traveling to meet a minor.

The investigation is still under way. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS.

You can read the full news release from the sheriff's office by clicking here.

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