WINTER HAVEN — Two Tampa physicians were among the 277 people caught up in a weeklong undercover prostitution sting orchestrated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Nelson Norberto Aldana, 40, of Tampa, and Douglas Klotch, 71, of Palmetto, were singled out by Polk Sheriff Grady Judd during a Tuesday afternoon news conference at his Winter Haven headquarters.
Klotch is an ear, nose and throat specialist at Tampa General Hospital and a clinical professor of surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine.
It was not immediately clear whether Aldana is practicing, but his license is up-to-date.
Also arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution was Luis Diaz, 43, a 17-year veteran of Judd’s team of law officers. It’s the power of sex, it gets you arrested and ends your career. He made a bad choice.” The sting, dubbed Operation No Tricks, No Treats, concluded Monday night at two undisclosed locations in Polk.
“We caught one of our own,” Judd said of Diaz, who resigned from his position as a sheriff’s sergeant immediately after his arrest. The vast majority of arrests were for misdemeanor infractions, although Judd said some of the more serious charges were for human trafficking, traveling to meet a child for sexual conduct and transmitting material harmful to a minor.
The long list of people arrested in the pay-for-sex operation includes Marine Col.
Kevin Scott of Virginia, who is on temporary duty at U. Central Command headquarters at Mac Dill Air Force Base in Tampa, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
He told detectives that he used the website Backpage to locate and respond to an advertisement for sex.Judd said Scott drove a government issued leased car to meet up with an undercover detective posing as a prostitute and later lied about his military status. “He said he was retired.” "We had to call the government and say, 'Hey would you like to come get your leased car 'cause your colonel is on the way to the county jail,' " he said.Judd shared credit for what he called the county’s largest sting of its type with police agencies in Haines City, Lakeland, Lake Wales and Winter Haven, as well as the State Attorney’s Office.Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens, who was on hand for Tuesday’s news conference, said he’s often asked about the necessity for such large-scale operations targeting prostitutes and their johns.“It comes down to quality of life in our community,” he said.Judd, too, said arrests of this nature help communities maintain their wholesome identities, but he also emphasized the importance of combating human trafficking, adding that the operation identified five potential victims.