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Marine Colonel Arrested In Massive, Aptly Named Prostitution Sting
Kevin Scott, a Marine colonel on TAD to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, was among the 300 individuals arrested over the weekend in a massive human-trafficking and prostitution sting orchestrated by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and officially named — no, really, — "Operation No Tricks, No Treats."
Scott, 51, was arrested after allegedly approaching an undercover detective at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 14 and offering to pay $80 for sex, according to arrest records cited by the Tampa Bay Times, which broke the story.
Scott was released on $500 bail on Oct. 17. He is among 277 people charged — in his case, with a misdemeanor count for soliciting a prostitute; others included a now-former sergeant with the county sheriff’s department.
As part of the bizarrely Halloween-named operation, undercover officers posed as prostitutes or prospective johns, posting fake ads and profiles on social media, websites, and mobile apps.
After responding to an ad online, Scott drove a leased car, which was paid for by the government, to the location where he met the undercover detective, Tampa Bay Times reports.
The field grade officer joined the Marines in 1984 and serves as a logistician assigned to the joint staff at Suffolk, Virginia, as part of the joint force directorate, according to Marine Corps Times.
"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,’" Sheriff Grady Judd told the Tampa Bay Times.
The scandal is the most recent in a string of incidents involving high-ranking officers, from generals caught using government cell phones for their swinging lifestyle to married Marine officers in Bogota, Colombia, who were drugged and robbed after bringing prostitutes back to their hotels.
However, Scott may have been one of the few, the not-so-proud, to have the foresight to try and avoid being identified as a Marine on the police blotter the following day.
"He said he was retired and he was no longer in the Marine Corps,” Judd told Tampa Bay Times. “That's not true."
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he and the Pentagon will comply with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry subpoena, but it'll be on their own schedule.
"We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note — as we typically do in these situations — to ensure documents are retained."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.