Two Florida-based airmen and a teenaged Air Force recruit were among nearly 230 people arrested and charged in Polk County, Fla., during an eight-day undercover prostitution sting operation.

Staff Sgt. Treykeoun Giles, 26, and Airman 1st Class Brandon Bush, 26, are both assigned to the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and were arrested and charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in jail, according to records provided by police and the Air Force.

Both men were arrested in Bartow, a town about 60 miles east of Tampa, where MacDill is located.

“We are always surprised when we make arrests of those who dedicate their lives to public service, such as law enforcement officers, or who are in the military,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “We tend to hold people in those types of occupations to a higher standard. Hopefully these arrests will serve as a wake-up call to these airmen, and they will discontinue violating Florida’s laws before they lose what should be a very honorable career serving our country.”

Giles is an aircraft mechanic who enlisted in June 2017, according to his service record.

He was arrested at about 9:02 p.m. Feb. 26, according to an affidavit from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. He responded to an online ad posted by an undercover detective and arrived at the agreed location with a condom and attempted to pay $100 through the Cash smartphone app, according to the affidavit.

He told police that he went online to meet someone because of the stress of his job. He was taken into custody without incident.

Bush enlisted one year ago as a security force member, according to his service record. He, too, responded to an online ad posted by an undercover detective, according to an affidavit.

He arrived at the location at about 11:46 p.m. Feb. 28, and attempted to pay $100 for 15 minutes of sexual favors. He was arrested without incident and declined to answer questions from police.

Polk County police also arrested 19-year-old Jayden My’Kell Hawley, who begged police to let him go with a warning because of his age and because he is scheduled for Air Force basic training in May, according to an affidavit.

He arrived at the agreed location in Lakeland at about 8 p.m. Feb. 25, ready to pay $50 through the Cash app, and was arrested and charged with soliciting another for prostitution as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

The Air Force confirmed Hawley is a recruit awaiting boot camp but declined to comment further because of the open investigation.

During the eight-day operation, Polk County officials arrested 228 suspects on charges related to soliciting sex or aiding and abetting prostitutes.

(Wikimedia Commons)

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Rose L. Thayer is based in Austin, Texas, and she has been covering the western region of the continental U.S. for Stars and Stripes since 2018. Before that she was a reporter for Killeen Daily Herald and a freelance journalist for publications including The Alcalde, Texas Highways and the Austin American-Statesman. She is the spouse of an Army veteran and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. Her awards include a 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Washington Dateline Award and an Honorable Mention from the Military Reporters and Editors Association for her coverage of crime at Fort Hood.

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