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Seven arrests during Brooksville prostitution sting and drug surveillance operation

BROOKSVILLE — Five men have been arrested by the Brooksville Police Department during a prostitution sting dubbed "Operation Valentine's Sweetheart."

The operation ran for eight hours on Saturday, according to the agency, and all of the men arrested approached an undercover female officer and offered money in exchange for sexual acts.

The Valentine's eve sting took place at the corner of West Jefferson Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

One of the suspects, Cecil Penn, 70, was arrested during a similar operation called "Operation Working Woman" in 2008. The same undercover female officer used in that operation was used in "Operation Valentine's Sweetheart" but Penn apparently didn't recognize her, according to police.

Others arrested in the operation were Major Drake, 73; Rafael Morales, 56; Douglas Vezina, 67; and Kenneth Williams, 49.

They each face a misdemeanor charge of prostitution.

This is at least the third major prostitution sting in Brooksville in 17 months, with the first two leading to more than 50 arrests. But the operations have faced some criticism after defense attorneys questioned the legality of the department's methods.

Police Chief George Turner has said one of his priorities is curbing solicitation in the city.

Also, Brooksville police arrested two more people during a drug surveillance operation that was going on at the same time as the prostitution sting. Tawiana Stanley, 23, and Clarence Adams, 30, face charges of driving with a revoked or suspended license.

Adams was also taken into custody on a charge of resisting arrest without violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Seven arrests during Brooksville prostitution sting and drug surveillance operation 02/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 8:02pm]
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