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Marine Colonel on Joint Staff Busted in Prostitution Sting

A screenshot of Marine Col. Kevin Scott from an interview during Exercise Regional Cooperation 2017 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in July 2017. Staff Sgt. John Raven/Marine Corps
A screenshot of Marine Col. Kevin Scott from an interview during Exercise Regional Cooperation 2017 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in July 2017. Staff Sgt. John Raven/Marine Corps

A large-scale prostitution and human trafficking sting in Florida's Polk County this week resulted in the arrest of a seasoned Marine colonel assigned to the Joint Staff.

Tampa Bay Times reported that Col. Kevin Scott was among 277 individuals arrested and charged in "Operation No Tricks, No Treats," a sting carried out by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Master Sgt. Ryan O'Hara, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Command, confirmed that Scott was assigned to Joint Staff Suffolk, Virginia.

Scott entered the Marine Corps in 1984 and is a logistics officer, O'Hara said.

"Everything's under investigation now," he said, adding that more actions may be taken by the service pending the results of the investigation.

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At the time of his arrest, Scott had been serving in a temporary duty position as desk officer for U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida. A military video from July shows him discussing a military exercise in Tajikistan in an interview.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the 51-year-old Scott was arrested Oct. 14 after he approached an undercover detective and offered to pay for sex. The paper also reported that Scott drove a government-leased car to the meeting point.

When he was arrested, the paper reported, he claimed he was retired and no longer serving in the Marine Corps.

"We had to call the government and say, 'Hey would you like to come get your leased car 'cause your colonel is on the way to the county jail,' the paper quotes Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd as saying.

According to the Times, Scott was charged with a single misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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