10 News Staff, WTSP
(Photo: Larry Perkins, WTSP)
Bartow, Florida — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says 61 people are facing charges following a four-day undercover prostitution sting.
Deputies say they targeted online ads for prostitution from December 4 through December 7. The suspects, which allegedly includes 26 prostitutes and 31 johns, ranged in age from 18 to 68. Investigators say two possible victims of human trafficking were located during the operation.
The following information on some of the more notable arrests, courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office:
Jazmin Alvelo and Glenda Maldonado from Tampa: Alvelo drove Maldonado to the undercover location and remained in the car with a three-year-old child while Maldonado was inside offering sex in exchange for $300.
Alvelo was charged with Aid/Abet Someone Committing Prostitution, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and 2 counts of VOP.
Maldonado was charged with soliciting another for Lewdness, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Alvelo has been arrested 30 times prior to this investigation; she has been charged with 26 felonies, 42 misdemeanors, had 13 failures to appear and one unknown incarceration. She was in prison from October 2012-September 2013 on charges of burglary, grand theft, aggravated battery with deadly weapon and aggravated assault.
Maldonado has been arrested 11 times prior to this investigation and has seven prior felony charges, seven misdemeanor charges and was in state prison from July 2007 through September 2008 on drug related charges.
Detectives arrested a PGA professional named Scott Yates. Yates is listed on the PGA site as an instructor. Yates told detectives he is employed at the Big Cypress Golf &Country Club. Yates told detectives he has used social media sites to engage in sex for money with over 100 females.
The oldest suspect was 68-year-old John Cokes of Valrico who attempted to chastise the undercover female detectives for prostituting in Polk County – “you’ll get arrested in Polk County.”
Gary Eulo told detectives he had been out of work for five months and was on government assistance. He stated he got a new job this past month earning $130,000, but hasn’t canceled his assistance yet.
Guy Harrell of Mulberry arrived at the undercover location and knocked on the door to find an arrest in progress. The undercover detective told Harrell the male in the room he saw was her boyfriend who was about to leave for the casino and asked if Harrell could come back. He did. Upon his arrest, Harrell said he was “he knew about the undercover operations and was just curious.”
Ellen Schoenherr negotiated “$600 for a dance,” and $100 for sex. Schoenherr told detectives she was previously in school in Michigan living in a dorm when a Florida friend talked her into leaving school and coming to Florida. Once moving to Florida, Schoenherr told detectives she then became a “stripper” working in several bay area clubs. Schoenherr told her parents she was a waitress. While working at a club she met Amanda Boyles who recruited her for “private party dances,” which ultimately led to sex in exchange for money at the “appointments.”
Adrian Hernandez told detectives he was employed by the city of Bartow. He arranged to meet the undercover detective negotiating sex in exchange for $75. When he arrived he attempted to pay the undercover detective with cash and a $30 winning scratch-off lottery ticket. Hernandez was in possession of a “meth pipe,” upon his arrest.
Mete Girit posted an ad offering “male escort services.” When Girit arrived at the undercover location, he said he felt “uncomfortable,” and left. Girit returned a short time later where he negotiated $200 in exchange for sex. He was placed under arrest. A search of Girit’s vehicle revealed a Baltimore Police Department Officer’s badge belonging to Girit. Girit told detectives he had retired in 2009 after injuring his knee chasing a “homicide suspect.”
Detectives continue to investigate information learned about potential Human Trafficking in two cases.
One suspect admitted to being HIV positive during arrest.