A Cape Coral man faces charges related to an alleged human trafficking ring.
Jeffery Rossi, 53, was one of 79 men arrested in “Operation Takedown.”
Cape Coral police made the arrest as part of a 10-day operation led by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office targeting human trafficking.
Hillsborough County undercover detectives conducted chat, hotel and streetwalker operations March 30 to April 9, leading to arrests ahead of WrestleMania 37 April 10-11 in Tampa, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office news release.
On Tuesday, Rossi was arrested at his home on a charge of cruelty toward a child for allegedly transmitting information harmful to the child. Cape Coral police assisted in the operation after being told there was a warrant for Rossi’s arrest.
Rossi told police he knew why they were there and he willingly went with them, Cape Coral police reported.
Rossi spoke with Hillsborough detectives at Cape Coral and his phone was given to detectives. He was taken to the Lee County Jail, where he remained, with bail set at $45,000.
“This operation helped rescue three females from the perils of human trafficking,” said Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister in a news release. “Unfortunately, the only thing wrong with this number is that we know there are more victims. I want to remind everyone that if you see something, say something. By reporting anyone you think may be a victim of these heinous crimes, you could be saving a life.”
Two other men arrested in the operation were a pastor in Tampa and a high school girls basketball coach in Land O’Lakes.
“Both of these men, trusted and revered members of our community, were arrested for soliciting another to commit prostitution,” Chronister said in the release.
It is unclear when Rossi will be taken to Hillsborough County.
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