ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Eighteen people were caught in a four-day human trafficking sting in St. Petersburg over the weekend, according to police.
Affidavits from the St. Petersburg Police Department detailed some of the arrests made in the undercover operation.
One individual — Brandon Charles Raymond Harrison, 31, of Largo — was arrested Saturday after officers said he responded to a fake online advertisement set up by St. Petersburg police.
Harrison allegedly texted a detective asking to have sex with a 15-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl in exchange for anti-psychotic medication and sleeping pills, according to police.
The affidavit said Harrison gave the detective the pills when he met with the undercover officer while the interaction was recorded for evidence.
Police said another person, Joshua Michael Hadley, 39, of St. Petersburg, even resisted arrest when he was caught — damaging a St. Petersburg police cruiser.
Meanwhile, Eric Benjamin Smith, 33, of Largo brought three McDonald’s meals and $220 to the meeting with undercover detectives in exchange for sex with minors, according to the affidavits.
Other suspects named in affidavits obtained by WFLA were Theodore Rex Walrond, 20, of St. Petersburg; Zia Ul Hassan, 30, of Port Richey; Dasman William Lee, 27, of St. Petersburg; and George Edward Hill, 47, of Land O’Lakes.
The operation was run by the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force, which was established by the St. Petersburg Police Department in 2020 to help combat human trafficking in the area. In total, 23 agencies along with the SPPD work to help victims and catch criminals.