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Polk County Sheriff’s Undercover Detectives Arrest 114 During Six-Day-Long Prostitution Investigation Targeting Human Trafficking

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Polk County Sheriff’s Undercover Detectives Arrest 114 During Six-Day-Long Prostitution Investigation Targeting Human Trafficking 
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During a six-day-long undercover investigation from Thursday, December 8th through Tuesday, December 13th, 2016, focusing on those who advertise prostitution services in online ads and identifying victims of human trafficking, Polk County Sheriff’s undercover detectives, along with detectives from the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office, arrested a total of 114 suspects, and charged two additional suspects via warrant. During the investigation, female undercover detectives posted fictitious ads online, and male undercover detectives responded to ads posted online by others.
The types of suspects arrested were: those who responded to the ads posted by the undercover detectives, or “johns;” those who came to the undercover location to have sex for money, or “prostitutes;” two suspects who traveled to the undercover location to have sex with minors; and others associated with both types of suspects.
Of the 114 suspects arrested, PCSO detectives believe four are victims of human trafficking, and investigations are ongoing. Representatives from Peace River, Neighbor to Family, Porch Light, George Harris Youth Shelter, and Selah Freedom, are working with PCSO to provide help and resources to the victims.
“We are exceptionally pleased that we were able to potentially identify four victims of human trafficking, which is the goal of this operation. We are thrilled that we arrested two men who prey upon children, preventing them from doing so. We are extremely disappointed that we arrested a high-ranking official within the Osceola County School Board, whose occupation focuses on teaching and mentoring children.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

The suspects ranged in age from 17 – 64 years old.
  • 42-year-oldMatthew Phillips, PhD, of St. Cloud, FL, is the Director of Elementary Curriculum at the Osceola County School Board. He arrived at the undercover location to have sex with a prostitute. He is married. He was arrested and charged with Offer to Engage in Lewdness, and Battery (he grabbed the undercover detective against her will).
  • 50-year-oldMatthew Irvin of Oakland, FL, told detectives that he told his wife he was going out to buy Christmas presents for his children, but came to the undercover location instead, to have sex with a prostitute. He was arrested and charged with Offer to Engage in Lewdness.
  • 33-year-old Erik Hernandez of Kissimmee, FL, told detectives after he was arrested that he had hurt his back setting up for his 9-year-old daughter’s birthday party that same day, and that he came to the undercover location to get a massage. He answered an online ad and arrived at the undercover location to have sex with a prostitute. He was arrested and charged with Offer to Engage in Lewdness, and Battery.
  • 33-year-oldMichael Campanaro of Clermont, FL, identified himself as a corrections officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Coleman, Florida. He was arrested and charged with Offer to Engage in Lewdness.
  • 44-year-oldSantos Rivera of Orlando, FL, told detectives he is a 20-year retired police officer from Puerto Rico. He was arrested and charged with Offer to Engage in Lewdness.
  • 40-year-old Michael Bonislawski of Davenport, FL, told detectives his pregnant wife was at home, and that their baby was due the same day he showed up to the undercover location. He was arrested and charged with Offer to Engage in Lewdness.
  • 22-year-old Nialoni Jackson of Avon Park, FL, arrived at the undercover location with a loaded handgun. She was arrested and charged with Solicit to Perform Lewdness, and Carrying Concealed Weapon.

Some of the prostitutes left their children with relatives while they drove to the undercover location. Two suspects traveled to the undercover location to have sex with who they thought were children. According to their affidavits:


  • 48-year-old Thomas Davis, of Massachusetts, began sending instant messages to an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl online. During their online conversation, Davis solicited the “girl” to send him nude photos of herself, and sent her photos of himself, including nude photos. Davis then drove to the undercover location and was arrested and charged with Use of Computer To Seduce Child (F-3), Use of Two-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony (F-3), Traveling to Meet a Minor (F-2), Lewd Battery (F-2), and Transmission of Harmful Material to Minor (F-3). After his arrest, Davis admitted to detectives that he sent photos to who he believed was a 14-year-old girl, and came to the undercover location to have sex with her.
  • 33-year-old Oscar Gonzalez, of Haines City, began talking to an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old boy on a social networking site, and then via text message. Gonzalez then drove to the undercover location and was arrested and charged with Use of Computer To Seduce Child (F-3), Use of Two-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony (F-3), Traveling to Meet a Minor (F-2), Lewd Battery (F-2), and Resisting Arrest (M-1). After his arrest, Gonzalez admitted to detectives that he believed he was talking to a 14-year-old boy, and came to the undercover location to have sex with him, and that his wife and children were living in Mexico. Oscar is in the country illegally, and PCSO has notified ICE of his arrest.

Of the 114 suspects arrested:

  • 50 were prostitutes
  • 51 were “johns,” or those who solicited to pay for prostitution
  • 11 others were arrested for related charges
  • 2 were arrested for traveling to meet a minor
  • 28 told detectives they were married
  • 5 told detectives they were on public assistance
  • 8 are Polk County residents
  • 15 were visiting Florida from another state

In all, detectives filed 25 felony charges and 138 misdemeanor charges against the 114 suspects.

Among the 114 suspects, there were a total of 244 previous felonies and 390 previous misdemeanor charges in their criminal histories.
Detectives obtained warrants for the following suspects:
29-year-old Travis Oneill Mays, who fled the scene after dropping off a prostitute. Mays currently has a warrant for his arrest for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (the prostitute he drove to the scene is 17-years-old), Deriving Proceeds from Prostitution, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault on LEO, and Resisting Arrest.
24-year-old Debraione Fulmore, who fled the scene after dropping off a prostitute (who is possibly a human trafficking victim). Fulmore currently has a warrant for his arrest Deriving Proceeds from Prostitution, and Resisting Arrest.
If you have information on these suspects’ whereabouts, please call Heartland Crime Stoppers:
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION WHO WANTS TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS AND BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CASH REWARD IS ASKED TO CALL HEARTLAND CRIME STOPPERS AT 1-800-226-TIPS or LOG ONTO www.P3tips.com to submit your tip via the web. For a secure and password protected mobile app for your smart device, go to the app store and download the free “P3tips” mobile app. No caller ID, no recorded lines, no tracking cookies, no saved IP addresses. ANONYMITY IS GUARANTEED!

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