Crackdown On Human Trafficking During Super Bowl In Tampa Nets 75 Arrests
Operation Game Over resulted in the arrests of three men on charges of human trafficking of a minor as well as the recovery of six individuals who were believed to be victims of human trafficking.
An effort to combat human trafficking during the Super Bowl in Tampa last week resulted in 75 arrests.
During a news conference Thursday, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said the individuals were arrested as part of Operation Game Over the week prior to the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.
Chronister said those arrested are accused of seeking to either buy or sell sex.
Chronister also announced the arrests of three men – Juan Cano Jr., 33; Alvin Lynch Jr., 34; and Scott Fitzgerald, 27 – on charge of human trafficking for commercial sexual activity of a victim younger than 18-years-old.
Chronister said authorities also recovered six individuals who were believed to be victims of human trafficking.
"The sickening practice of human trafficking is a crime that is nothing less than modern-day slavery," Chronister said in a news release. "Escaping the wrath of a trafficker takes courage and in some cases, is nearly impossible. For this reason we have not and will not relent in our efforts to stop the demand and we are accomplishing this one arrest at a time."
According to the release, undercover deputies targeted massage parlors, hotels and online chat rooms known for illicit activity during the nationwide operation.
Those arrested ranged in age from 19 to 73, the release said
Officials say the Super Bowl can be a magnet for human trafficking because it’s an event that attracts a large concentration of people to a relatively confined urban area.