2 Airmen and an Air Force Recruit Busted in Large-Scale Prostitution Sting in Florida

by Braxton Taylor

Two active-duty airmen and an Air Force candidate were arrested as part of a 228-person sting operation conducted by multiple law enforcement and state agencies across central Florida, according to a Tuesday statement by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The sting was part of an eight-day undercover human-trafficking operation, “Operation March Sadness 2024,” with the two service members and one trainee arrested for solicitation of prostitution.

“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 an email to Military.com. “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.”

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According to an affidavit obtained by Military.com, Treykeoun Giles, 26, was arrested for soliciting another to commit prostitution. Giles identified himself to police as an aircraft mechanic stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Giles allegedly told police he went online to meet a girl because of stress he was under from his job in the Air Force. The affidavit revealed that Giles had contacted an undercover agent posing as a prostitute Feb. 26. He agreed to meet up with someone he thought was a prostitute for $100 and half an hour together, the document revealed. Giles was arrested after he allegedly agreed to pay the undercover deputy via Cash App and was found to have had a condom in his pocket.

“When asked what he planned to do in that hour, he advised he usually leaves it up to the woman,” the affidavit revealed.

Also arrested was Brandon Bush, 26, who told law enforcement that he is an active-duty Security Forces airman who has been in the service for about a year. His affidavit revealed that, during phone conversations with an undercover officer Feb. 28, Bush allegedly agreed to meet up with the cop for 15 minutes of sexual favors. He agreed to pay the undercover detective $100 for her services, the affidavit showed, and confirmed he wanted sex by requesting they not use a condom. Bush also faces a charge of soliciting another for prostitution.

In addition to the two airmen, Air Force boot camp candidate Jayden Hawley, 19, of Ruskin, Florida, was also arrested as part of the operation. Similar to Giles and Bush, Hawley had allegedly solicited sexual activity from an undercover officer Feb. 25, agreeing to pay $50 after texting and calling with the deputy. He was charged with solicitation of prostitution upon his arrival at their meeting location.

“Jayden repeatedly begged me to let him go with a warning because he is only 19 and he is supposed to leave for the Air Force in May,” the undercover deputy wrote in the affidavit.

A total of 70 felonies and 288 misdemeanors were charged during the investigation, including solicitation of prostitution, offering to commit prostitution, and the aiding and abetting of prostitutes.

Thirteen of the 66 people arrested for prostitution are believed to be victims of human trafficking, Judd said in a public statement.

The investigation was conducted by detectives from Auburndale, Davenport, Haines City, Lakeland, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales and St. Cloud police departments with help from Winter Haven Fire Rescue. Social services organizations such as One More Child, Heartland for Children and Selah Freedom were also involved.

A spokesperson for the Air Force deferred to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office until they could gather more information on the incident and the airmen’s alleged involvement.

— Rachel Nostrant is a Marine Corps veteran and freelance journalist, with work published in Reuters, New York Magazine, Military Times and more.

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