A prostitution sting conducted by Boynton Beach Police on Monday and Tuesday netted 16 arrests, including juvenile prostitutes and cocaine seizures.
The undercover sting was part of an effort to crack down on human trafficking and sexual exploitation throughout South Florida, which has become a hot spot for the illegal activity, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the Palm Beach Post, City Detective Charles Ramos says the department combed through internet bulletin boards -- specifically ads that featured photos of girls who appeared to be underaged -- to set up their operation.
Eventually, Ramos made contact with someone, and plans were made to meet at a location for sexual activity.
An undercover officer met with two alleged Boca Raton prostitutes, Amanda Philp, 18, and Chelsea Blaze, 21, at the chosen location.
The girls told the undercover officer the price to have sex with both of them would be $280 per hour.
The men who drove the prostitutes to prearranged locations were arrested. One of the men arrested was David Fitzgerald, 35, of West Palm Beach. Philp and Blaze were also arrested.
Fitzgerald told cops that he was there to act as protection for the girls and would get a cut of the money as payment.
Other similar busts were made, with undercover cops posing as johns.
One of the girls, Na'Imani Shetula, 19, who had come from as far as California, reportedly had no ID and didn't know her social security number.
According to Ramos, Shetula's family told police they didn't know where she was.
"They had no idea she was in Florida doing what she was doing," Ramos said.
Christopher Fuller, 28, of Delray Beach, was the other man arrested in the sting. Shetula told police he kept in his car a tablet with information about the ads he has posted on the internet.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!