About 4 p.m. today, Punta Gorda Police detectives arrested 43-year-old, Michele Lee O’Neill, currently homeless, on the charge of prostitution related to an Internet-based prostitution investigation. As part of routine Punta Gorda Police Department efforts to prevent Internet-based prostitutes from plying their trade within city limits, detectives monitor various websites that are used to advertise “escorts” and the like. In this particular case, detectives saw an advertisement posted on the popular social networking website Backpage.com, in which O’Neill offered her services in Southwest Florida and detectives specifically knew of her prior activities in Punta Gorda. Detectives arranged for O’Neill to meet them at a city hotel after agreeing to exchange sexual activity for money with an undercover detective.
O’Neill was charged with prostitution and was transported to the Charlotte County Jail, where she was held on $1,000 bond.
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