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Tampa police targeting prostitution during Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa

Tampa police Officers Bill Logan, left, and Brett Owen arrest Augusto Dopico on a misdemeanor charge of soliciting prostitution from an undercover officer.

KAINAZ AMARIA | Times

Tampa police Officers Bill Logan, left, and Brett Owen arrest Augusto Dopico on a misdemeanor charge of soliciting prostitution from an undercover officer.

TAMPA — Sex and the Super Bowl.

If you look at it as Tampa police Capt. Bret Bartlett does, the two are inseparable.

"The sun rises in the East," he said, "and hookers come into town during the Super Bowl."

To get ready for the eventful week, Tampa police conducted a reverse prostitution sting Monday that netted 13 arrests.

Police targeted Nebraska Avenue, areas west of the stadium in Drew Park and adult clubs on Dale Mabry Highway.

Bartlett said some of the prostitutes arrested in the past week told police they were in town for the "big game."

But Bartlett warned that those who break the law face the same penalty if caught.

"If you're a fan, if you're a player, if you're somebody up in the sport club, it doesn't make a difference," he said. "You're going to go to jail. And heaven forbid you end up in jail the night before the game because you're going to waste your $1,000 tickets."

Not everything about the sting went as planned. One man arrested in Drew Park listed his employer as Tampa Fire Rescue. Marcus Stokes, a 35-year-old medic, asked a woman to show her breasts to prove she wasn't a cop, police said. Alas, she was.

"We're obviously embarrassed," Fire Rescue Capt. Bill Wade said.

Tampa police targeting prostitution during Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa 01/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 12:18am]

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