Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dozens arrested, drugs seized in New Port Richey prostitution sting

NEW PORT RICHEY — Previous prostitution stings along the U.S. 19 corridor — including "Operation Get the Girls" and "Operation Get the Girls II" — have netted dozens of arrests.

Over the past two weekends, New Port Richey police launched a sequel.

From July 18 to Friday, local officers, along with Pasco sheriff's deputies and Zephyrhills police, arrested 33 people: seven on prostitution charges and 26 on charges of soliciting a prostitute.

On the first weekend, undercover police posed as both prostitutes and johns. Teams of officers were stationed along U.S. 19 between Main Street and the Pithlachascotee River.

On Friday, the teams set up near U.S. 19 and Green Key Drive for a nine-hour sting. The operation west of U.S. 19 was dubbed "Motel Rendezvous," while the east side was "Operation Johnny Come Lately."

"It's supply and demand," said New Port Richey Lt. Jeff Harrington, a community services division commander. "We tried to address (prostitution) from both perspectives."

Police also made three arrests on outstanding warrants, three felony drug arrests and one misdemeanor drug arrest, according to a news release. They seized 369 grams of marijuana, 20.5 grams of cocaine and 94 doses of ecstasy.

Police have carried out prostitution stings along U.S. 19 for years in response to complaints from businesses and residents, Harrington said.

Resident Betty Lindley said police have done a good job, but the problem still exists even after all the arrests. "We saw one prostitute walking by today," she said Monday. "It gets disgusting."

Nomaan Merchant can be reached at or (727) 869-6244.

Dozens arrested, drugs seized in New Port Richey prostitution sting 07/28/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 2, 2008 8:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Cal Foote said he was so young when his father, Adam, played in the NHL, he didn't remember their hug in the Avalanche's dressing room during the 2001 Stanley Cup celebration.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary celebration

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.