Operation Cross Country: Tampa Bay area prostitution arrests part of FBI nationwide sting

3:43 PM, Jul 30, 2013   |    comments
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Darlin Rivera-Pineda was one of 15 people arrested in Hillsborough County as part of the nationwide FBI sting Operation Cross Country.


St. Petersburg, Florida -- Several law enforcement agencies in Tampa Bay assisted the FBI in a 3-day operation that targeted child sex trafficking across the United States.

The FBI says 150 pimps were arrested and 105 children rescued as a part of Operation Cross Country. The 76-city sweep represents the largest such law enforcement action focused on children forced into sexual slavery, federal authorities said.

Mug Shot Gallery: Tampa Bay arrests in Operation Cross Country

Assistant FBI Director Ron Hosko, head of the bureau's criminal division, said the children ranged from 13 to 17 years old. The youngest of the victims was allegedly being offered up by her father, who also was allegedly involved in videotaping his daughter's sexual encounters.

"We have victims whose new normal is sexual abuse,'' Hosko said. "We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it.''

Report: FBI's list of children recovered, pimps arrested

The Polk County Sheriff's Office tells 10 News two women were arrested in their jurisdiction as a part of the operation: 34-year-old Roxanne Apel-Mason was charged with prostitution, and 34-year-old Summer Huckaby was charged with grand theft after deputies say she failed to discuss sexual activity, then refused to give back $450 taken from an undercover detective.

Over in Hillsborough County, Tampa Police say 15 people were arrested on numerous charges:

  • Brittany Marie Haris, 21 - prostitution, and a bench warrant for petit theft
  • Cheyenne Lefave, 20 - prostitution
  • Darlin Jackelin Rivera-Pineda, 19 - prostitution, possession of cannabis (less than 20 grams)
  • Florence Torres, 20 - prostitution
  • Gregory Josephy Mojher, 36 - transporting for prostitution
  • Jaira J. Valencia, 20 - prostitution
  • Jasmine Booth, 26 - prostitution, possession of cannabis (less than 20 grams)
  • Kristen Kates, 23 - prostitution
  • Lakerra Loveless, 19 - prostitution
  • Laquandra Starks, 22 - prostitution
  • Shamira Caby, 20 - prostitution
  • Shirene Simrakh, 19 - prostitution
  • Vanessa Ramsey, 31 - prostitution
  • Victoria Rivera, 20 - prostitution
  • Whitleigh Struble, 24 - prostitution

The City of Clearwater also took part in Operation Cross Country, but has not released any information about arrests at this time.

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