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BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - A Boca Raton Police officer is under investigation after his wife was charged with pimping.
Police say they've busted a ring that involved several women and numerous "Johns" who were meeting at several apartments around the city.
"You think that your kids are safe, and if people are answering ads on here for this, who knows what they might do if they see a kid out?" said Julie Anastasio, a neighbor of one of the apartment's alleged to have been used as part of the operation.
The mayor of Boca Raton says no one has indicated that Boca Officer Sam McCoy was involved in the alleged prostitution ring. "The investigation will prove whatever it proves. And if he had absolutely nothing to do with this; then, he's a fine person, and he will continue," said Mayor Susan Whelchel.
But that doesn't mean police are not asking questions.
McCoy has been placed on administrative leave following his wife's arrest, so the department can investigate.
Denise McCoy and her alleged partner in the ring, Sara Marin, were arrested Tuesday after an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and charged with money laundering and pimping.
Flordia Department of Law Enforcement says police learned of the alleged ring from a prostitute who says McCoy threatened to have her deported unless she had sex with as many as 12 men per day for nine months.
The dates were allegedly scheduled on an online forum.
For $10, anyone can post an ad for anything on the site.
Under the escort category for Palm Beach, there are pictures of women, descriptions of services offered, and warnings like, "No cops allowed".
"It's far easier to use the Internet to engage in this type of activity and less of a chance to get caught," said Andrew Scott, the former chief of Boca Raton police.
Prostitution is illegal, and many of the people post local cell phone numbers on the Web site.
Scott says departments have fewer resources than ever before and catching hookers requires witnesses and lots of man-hours.
And, there are bigger fish to fry. "Law enforcement is allocating many of its resources related to computer crimes towards sexual exploitation of children," said Scott.
FDLE says this case caught their attention because of the amount of money McCoy and her alleged partner, Sara Marin made. It was estimated to be nearly $100,000, thanks in part to a Web site that allows customers to order sex as easily as a pizza.
But Scott says that busting this ring raises bigger questions. "If this police officer's wife is involved, is the police officer involved? Did he have knowledge of it? Were other officers involved? These are questions that the current chief is going to have to answer, " said Scott.
Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander says a thorough investigation will be conducted and made public.