Altamonte Springs is a city of approximately 42,000 residents, located north of Orlando in Seminole County, Florida. Prostitution has been reported as a problem in the city dating at least to the 1980s, and has generated many complaints to police. Sex trafficking of minors and armed robberies of adults have also been documented in the city, and a serial killer of prostituted women (Gerald Stano) claimed one of his victims in Altamonte Springs.
To curtail commercial sex in the area, the Altamonte Springs Police Department has conducted at least two street-level reverse stings since 1990. The operations have utilized undercover female officers, who pose as prostituted women. The street-level operation in 1990 resulted in the arrest of 11 johns.
In July 2010, officers also conducted a web-based reverse sting. For the operation, police posted a decoy advertisement to Craigslist. As johns responded to the listing, an undercover female officer arranged to meet them at a local hotel. When the men arrived and attempted to purchase sexual services from the officer, they were arrested by APD police. All of the johns’ names and ages were released to the local media.
- Altamonte Springs Police Department
- “Turnpike Trysts Draw Crackdown in Florida”, Youngstown Vindicator, June 13 1988.
- “Altamonte Police Arrest 8 Men in Prostitution Sting”, Orlando Sentinel, August 4 1990.
- “Education Group Reprimands Helms: The Former St. Cloud High Principal Resigned Last Year After Charges of Soliciting Prostitution”, Orlando Sentinel, September 9 1995.
Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in the City:
- http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1990-09-13/prostitution problems plague areas near city hall-altamonte-springs (1990)
- https://www.clickorlando.com/news/police-men-held-prostitutes-at-gunpoint-refused-to-pay-them (2012)
- https://www.wftv.com/news/local/police-lgbtq-support-center-in-altamonte-springs-front-for-brothel (2019)