TAMPA, Florida - Tampa Police arrested 16 women at area strip clubs over the last two days as part of a crackdown ahead of the Republican National Convention.
"We have an obligation just to make sure that we don't have juveniles involved in human trafficking issues, or have a lot of prostitutes coming to the area to take advantage of the large crowds that will be here," said Tampa Assistant Police Chief John Newman.
"Keep It Clean" didn't find any underage girls during the two-day undercover investigation, but the police department knows the fight isn't over, even after the convention.
"I know there are other clubs that don't abide by the rules all the time, and if they do check them every once in a while and make a few arrests, then it puts us all on a level playing field," said Joe Redner, owner of Mons Venus. "We conduct ourselves as if there's always undercover officers here, and that's the way I like it."
Mons Venus was among many of the clubs checked that were in compliance. But four women were arrested at Alibi, and another four were also at Skin in Ybor City. Three arrests each were made at Scarlett's in Ybor and Play Pen.
Officers also arrested one employee at Emperor's Club, and one at Pink Pony. All were charged with offering prostitution.
The Tampa Police Department regularly checks strip clubs for compliance, but decided to investigate many at one time based on tips that prostitutes may be coming to Tampa to work in adult establishments during the convention.
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